Friday, June 22, 2007

Brazil says global trade deal still possible, but 'G4' dead

AFX News Limited

GENEVA (Thomson Financial) - A global trade deal is still possible, despite the collapse of the talks in Potsdam yesterday between four key players over differences on agriculture, Brazil's foreign minister and top trade official said today. 'I don't think that the Doha Round is dead, even though it is agonising,' Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told reporters in Geneva.

By contrast, the failure of the talks in Potsdam does spell the end of the so-called 'G4' group, he said, after Brazil and India walked out of the talks with the EU and the US. 'The G4 as such is dead,' Amorim said bluntly. Still, it is 'difficult but not impossible' for all 150 members of the WTO to arrive at a comprehensive global trade deal, he added.Amorim and Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath walked out of the G4 talks yesterday, after Western governments failed to meet their demands to cut agriculture subsidies, which developing countries say prevent their farmers from competing on world markets. Meanwhile, the EU and US representatives accused the two emerging nations of refusing to budge on reducing import tariffs on industrial goods.