Trade Hopes Pinned on Bilateral Trade Negotiations

CANADA - Canada's international trade minister is pledging to press ahead on bilateral and multilateral trade discussions following the collapse of the latest effort to reach a new world trade agreement, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 30 July 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Yesterday, the head of the World Trade Organization indicated talks in Geneva to broker a new global trade pact had collapsed.

International trade minister Michael Fortier says, despite Canada's disappointment, he remains hopeful WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy will be able to get the discussions back on track.

Michael Fortier-Canada International Trade Minister

Most definitely I think what you will see is, whilst many countries will express what we're expressing today that hopefully the talks can be revived sooner than later, there will be many of us that will seriously engage toward bilaterals.

Our global commerce strategy has indicated clearly that we're focusing on the Americas and emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil and we have already signed initial agreements with Peru, with Columbia.

I talked about the EU which is outside of the global commerce strategy but obviously is a negotiation we would be very keen in launching as soon as possible and hopefully during the visit of president Sarkozy in October.

We also are pursuing discussions with the Republic of Korea which Mr. Emerson began some while ago.

These negotiations have been going on for some time and hopefully they can be moved ahead in the months to come.

Fortier says, while Canada is disappointed, he is somewhat optimistic that the WTO talks can be kick started in the not too distant future.

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