Weekend WTO talks disappointing

ALBERTA - The chairman of Alberta Pork, the organization representing pork producers in the province, present in Geneva as an observer during the past weekend's World Trade Organization (WTO) trade talks, warns that negotiations are on the brink of failure and collapse.
calendar icon 6 July 2006
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Alberta Pork

As part of the Alberta agriculture delegation, Jurgen Preugschas is very concerned that the lack of progress by the 149 member nations "has put the chance of a WTO agreement in danger of running out of time."

"It was disappointing to me that no real negotiations took place. The major players have taken a very hard line and seemed unwilling to move from their positions. Market access and trade distorting domestic subsidies are the biggest hurdles to overcome. I would like to see our Canadian negotiators resume the role of mediators to broker a deal," states Preugschas.

"In my view, shuttle discussions now underway and led by the Trade Negotiations Director General, Pascal Lamy, have the potential to save the Doha Round if everyone cooperates," adds Preugschas.

The Uruguay Round of multilateral negotiations were completed in 1994. The current Doha Round was scheduled to be completed in 2006 with the agricultural talks portion of the agreement due in December 2005. These talks are now more than six months behind schedule.

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