Unemployment could incite protectionism: Lamy

2nd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

The head of the World Trade Organization warned on Wednesday that trade protectionism would remain a threat to the global economy for as long as unemployment remained high.

Pascal Lamy, WTO general director, said in an interview with the French financial paper La Tribune that although there had been no surge in protectionist practices since late 2008, "the source of protectionist temptation is unemployment."

He warned that joblessness had "got worse, particularly in developing economies."

Lamy insisted there was still life left in the WTO-sponsored Doha round of global trade liberalisation talks, which have hit a standstill in the face of discord between developed and developing countries.

"The Doha round is not dead," he said of the negotiations that were launched in the Qatari captial in late 2001.

"Eighty percent of the goals in the talks have already been met. And our members want to reach agreement on the remaining 20 percent.

He said industrial tariffs, trade in services and fishing subsidies were the principal challenges.

© 2010 AFP

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