Potential Tariff Reduction Formulas Released in WTO Talks

New text could speed negotiations.

World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy said that the negotiating documents put forward this week on agriculture and industrial goods trade provide a platform for intensified work in the coming weeks. The negotiating texts in agriculture and non-agricultural market access, released on May 19 respectively by Crawford Falconer, chair of the agriculture negotiating group and Don Stephenson, chair of the NAMA negotiating group, are the second revisions of negotiating documents first produced in July 2007. They are the result of WTO member governments' latest positions in the discussions since September 2007, one of the most intensive periods of negotiations since the Doha Round talks began in 2001. They are the chairs' assessment of what might be agreed for the formulas for cutting tariffs and trade-distorting agricultural subsidies, and related provisions.

Gretchen Hamel, spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative, said the agency would be studying the revised texts in the days ahead. "The U.S. is committed to concluding a successful Doha Round this year that achieves new market access for agricultural and industrial products and services in both developed and emerging market economies. We are prepared to make the tough political choices necessary to conclude an agreement, as others will need to do as well," Hamel said. "Specifically, we will be looking to see how the world's largest and fastest growing economies are going to make market-opening contributions commensurate with their increasing participation and role in the world economy."

To view the new negotiating text, click HERE.

Source: Feedstuffs

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