Schwab says US won’t give up on trade talks

Renewed efforts to revive global commerce talks appeared in trouble today as top trading powers said they had failed so far to make progress on thorny issues such as US and European farm support.

Renewed efforts to revive global commerce talks appeared in trouble today as top trading powers said they had failed so far to make progress on thorny issues such as US and European farm support.

WTO chief Pascal Lamy called the series of meetings with ministers from Australia, Brazil, the 25-nation European Union, India, Japan and the United States to try to re-energise the Doha round of trade liberalisation talks.

Trade officials said yesterday’s meeting in Geneva had not generated the new movement hoped for.

“Unfortunately things became clear yesterday that ‘Doha light’ seems still to be the preferred option of some of the participants,” US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said today, referring to the possibility of a watered-down agreement to solve the stand-off.

Schwab told reporters at the World Trade Organisation that the US was committed to “a robust, ambitioned and balanced round” and would not give up on the talks, even as other officials suggested they were in danger of collapsing.

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