France slams new WTO proposals

18th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 18, 2007 (AFP) - France on Tuesday slammed new WTO proposals aimed at finding a breakthrough in the deadlocked Doha Round of global trade talks.

PARIS, July 18, 2007 (AFP) - France on Tuesday slammed new WTO proposals aimed at finding a breakthrough in the deadlocked Doha Round of global trade talks.

Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier said the "WTO document confirms the deep imbalance in the Doha negotiations."

The World Trade Organisation's chief negotiators made new suggestions on Tuesday for sharp cuts in farm subsidies in the United States and the European Union.

The negotiators proposed that developing countries reduce the tariffs levied on industrial goods from developed countries in return.
 
"I am very deeply worried when reading this document at the absence of reciprocity when it comes to efforts demanded of different members of the WTO, in particular on internal support and export subsidies for agriculture," he said.

Barnier said he was "worried at the proposals on market access which are of a nature that endangers the economic balance of our farm sector."

The World Trade Organization issued the two proposals in a bid to move the deadlocked Doha Development Round of trade liberalization negotiations forward.

Barnier called for discussions within the 27-nation EU on the proposals leading to a "strong European Union reaction to this document."

The proposals came one month after the failure of a meeting between the United States, the European Union, Brazil and India to unblock the Doha Round, which was launched in the Qatari capital in 2001.

Representatives of the WTO's 150 members are due to meet in negotiating groups next week in Geneva to give their initial reactions to the proposals.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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