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World trade watchdog holds General Council meeting

December 14, 2010 - GENEVA

The target for wrapping up the World Trade Organization's Doha Round of negotiations was the end of 2010. The date has slipped again. The 153-nation organization now hopes for an outline agreement by mid 2011 and signatures on the overall deal at the ministerial meeting in Dec 2011.The 2011 meeting might also see Russia, which has been trying to join the WTO since 1993, at the table. Ten years old in Nov 2011, the Doha Round is aimed at reducing barriers so countries can increase trade globally. Agricultural subsidies and trade barriers related to industrial goods and services are among the key sticking points.

The target for wrapping up the World Trade Organization's Doha Round of negotiations was the end of 2010. The date has slipped again. The 153-nation organization now hopes for an outline agreement by mid 2011 and signatures on the overall deal at the ministerial meeting in Dec 2011.The 2011 meeting might also see Russia, which has been trying to join the WTO since 1993, at the table. Ten years old in Nov 2011, the Doha Round is aimed at reducing barriers so countries can increase trade globally. Agricultural subsidies and trade barriers related to industrial goods and services are among the key sticking points. ; According to Reuters, leaders of rich and emerging economies at the G20 summit in Seoul in November called for a conclusion of the Doha round to bolster economic recovery and resist protectionism. Leaders of the Asia-Pacific group APEC a few days later echoed the call. Russian, European Union and United States negotiators said in November that several key issues with Russia had been resolved. WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said in September that he continued to detect a wide-spread and determined commitment towards concluding the Doha Round. "At the MDG [Millennium Development Goals] Summit I was struck by the sense of urgency which characterized many of the interventions by leaders regarding the Doha Round," he said, noting that the multilateral trading system had proved its worth in the last year as an insurance policy against protectionist pressures in major economies driven by domestic concerns over job losses and falling business activity. (UPDATED Nov 2010) ;

WTO envoys ready for Doha trade deal push in 2011 (Reuters 26 Nov 2010)

CORRECTED - UPDATE 1-Deal in WTO Doha round doubtful in 2010 -USTR Kirk (Reuters 9 Mar 2010)

SCENARIOS-Could China face a WTO dispute over rare earths? (Reuters 29 Oct 2010)

WTO says 70% of members ready to sign Doha Development Agenda (4 May 2010)

The Doha Round explained (WTO)

World Trade Organization secretariat

WTO Boeing report should spur EU, US settlement - EU (Reuters 15 Sep 2010)

Date written/update: 2010-12-14