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WTO General Council pushes to conclude Doha Round

July 29, 2010 - GENEVA

The World Trade Organization (WTO)deals with the rules of trade between nations. It wants to conclude the stalled Doha Round of negotiations before December. This third 2010 meeting of the General Council will see if the new ingredients in the process can break the impasse. Agricultural subsidies and trade barriers related to industrial goods and services remain key sticking points, and carbon tariffs on imports loom as a new arena for disputes.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the rules of trade between nations. It wants to conclude the stalled Doha Round of negotiations before December. This third 2010 meeting of the General Council will see if the new ingredients in the process can break the impasse. Agricultural subsidies and trade barriers related to industrial goods and services remain key sticking points, and carbon tariffs on imports loom as a new arena for disputes. The Director-General called for meetings organized by the chairs of the different negotiating groups; preliminary contacts between trade ministers; and his own consultations with delegations on general issues. He quipped that members must start shaking the ingredients 'before the ice melts.'; The Doha Round, launched in Nov 2001 in Doha, is aimed at reducing barriers so countries can increase trade globally. The European Union is considering border tariffs on imports from more polluting countries, according to Reuters, but sees the risk that the levies could spark trade wars. Keith Rockwell, WTO Information & External Relations, explained in an Asia News report on May 4 that many issues remain to be resolved and will be tricky, in trade in services, fishery subsidies, anti dumping. "These are important and they're difficult technically and politically, but the broadly held view is that agreement in industrial and agricultural goods, will provide the momentum to conclude the round." He sees governments' encouragement of domestic demand as a means to providing a balance to their growth that can contribute reducing trade tensions and a more positive political environment for completing the Doha Round. Venue to be confirmed

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

The Doha Round explained (WTO)

Trade rep.: U.S. pushing Europe not to subsidize Airbus A350 (Seattle PI 3 May 2010)

Carbon tariffs on imports risk trade war--EU study (Reuters 30 Apr 2010)

Date written/update: 2010-07-29