WTO Talks Breakdown in Geneva

Ministers were unable to work out a compromise in global trade talks.

In the seven years since the Doha Round of World Trade Organization global trade talks there have been too many stalemates, stumbling blocks and stoppages to count. Whatever the number is, add one more. WTO Director General Pascal Lamy announced that the ministerial meeting underway in Geneva since July 21 had failed to reach agreement and was over after nine days of negotiations.

"We won't see a conclusion to the round this year," said New Zealand Trade Minister Phil Goff. "I hope that what we've achieved this week can be used at least to build on as a foundation for the future."

Access to developing countries markets was a major factor in the collapse of talks. Many thought that issue had been worked out last Friday, but China and India refused to open their markets further. U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said the U.S. has already made substantial concessions and that with an agreement so close to getting done, the two countries' refusal wasted the compromise deal that had been reached last week.

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