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Foundry Daily News

04. April 2007

India:

to host summit of big trade powers

India will host a meeting of major trade powers involving the US, the EU, Brazil and Australia to push agreements on global trade talks next month.

Europe's trade chief Peter Mandelson has said he wants to meet his counterparts from the US, Brazil and India early next month to step up the pace of negotiations for a long-delayed global trade deal.

The World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Doha round of negotiations, launched in 2001 to boost the global economy and fight poverty, broke down in July 2006 and now risks total collapse if a deal is not reached in 2007.

The EU, the US, Brazil and India, as the world's trade powers, are trying to thrash out an agreement amongst themselves before putting it to the WTO's 150-nation members.

In recent weeks, trading powers have been engaged in behind-the-scenes efforts to work out a consensus.

WTO chief Pascal Lamy said last week the United States needed to make a new offer on reducing agriculture subsidies for the talks to progress.The United States is under pressure to agree to steeper cuts in its farm subsidies, while the European Union is being pressed to make deeper reductions in its tariffs on farm products.

Developing nations led by India and Brazil are being pushed to open their markets wider to industrial goods and services but the United States also wants to see fewer farm products on their protected list.

India, along with Brazil, has been a lead negotiator for developing nations, who say they are prepared to lower farm product tariffs by two-thirds the percentage cuts of developed nations.

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