WTO: Poor Nations Likely Will Get Good Concessions

Top official predicts they will win satisfactory concessions from rich ones by the end of Doha talks on a new global trade accord.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The World Trade Organization's top official predicted Friday that poor nations will win satisfactory concessions from rich ones by the end of talks on a new global trade accord.
''My sense is that ... developing countries will at the end of the day get a large part of what they are asking for in this negotiation,'' WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said at a question-answer session organized by Malaysia's trade ministry.
The current round of global trade talks, known as the Doha Round, has come to a standstill because of differences between the United States, European Union, Brazil and India on eliminating trade barriers to agricultural produce and manufactured goods.
Lamy said the developing nations will likely get ''at least a large degree of satisfaction in areas such as agriculture,'' and stressed that a deal is still achievable.
''Completing the Doha Round is not only technically possible, it is also a political must,'' Lamy said, calling on countries to show more trust and compromise.
''Of course trade negotiators are clever tacticians and they only go the extra mile if they feel this will be reciprocated by their counterparts. Like many economic challenges at the end of the day it is a matter of trust between partners,'' he said.
Lamy has said that Washington must lower its agricultural subsidies further, while the EU needs to ease access to its farm markets. He has also called on Brazil and India to offer deeper cuts in industrial tariffs.
Divisions on these issues among the WTO's four biggest powers caused their talks in Germany in June to collapse.
The global talks aim to add billions of dollars to the world economy and lift millions of people out of poverty through new trade flows. The talks have floundered since their inception in Doha, the capital of Qatar, six years ago, largely because of the issues surrounding the four powers.
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