Friday, July 24, 2009

Not much talking being done now at the WTO

Ambassadors at the World Trade Organization says there is not a lot of negotiations going on. That is despite a G-8 pledge to complete a global trade pact by the end of next year. Not much will be done for the rest of the summer, because many WTO diplomats go on vacation in August.

From this Associated Press story that we found at the Gloucester Daily Times, we read more about the slow WTO.

"Mismatch" was the word used by ambassadors Friday at the 153-member World Trade Organization in comparing that promise to reality on the ground.

They said the current talks were falling far short of the pace and intensity needed to wrap up a deal once promised as a recipe for lifting millions of people out of poverty and adding billions of dollars to the global economy.

There is a "marked and embarrassing gap" between what world leaders and top trade ministers have called for and what is being accomplished in talks, Australia's ambassador Peter Grey told a meeting of the WTO membership.

Washington's outgoing envoy Peter Allgeier said there was "no doubt" that the slow progress of technical work was failing to match the ambition of politicians, while his Indian counterpart Ujal Singh Bhatia claimed there was a "striking lack of energy" in WTO negotiations.

Bhatia said the disconnect threatens to damage the credibility of the WTO and world leaders, who have voiced their support for the Doha round at recent summits in Bali, Indonesia; Paris; L'Aquila, Italy; and Singapore.

The global trade talks were supposed to be completed in 2004 and have been at a standstill for months.

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