WTO talks to resume today

A World Trade Organisation draft deal to open up farm and manufacturing commerce has provided a “path forward” to ending seven years of frustrating talks on a new global trade pact, the top US negotiator says.

A World Trade Organisation draft deal to open up farm and manufacturing commerce has provided a “path forward” to ending seven years of frustrating talks on a new global trade pact, the top US negotiator says.

Talks on hammering out a compromise continued late last night, and a meeting is due to be convened later this morning.

US trade representative Susan Schwab said after a meeting of more than 30 countries that many issues remained to be resolved if the WTO were to reach a framework deal slashing farm subsidies and cutting agricultural and industrial tariffs around the world.

She said negotiators now had a “tentative agreement on a path forward” but warned that some “large emerging markets” still threatened to block a breakthrough – a clear reference to India, which has struck a defiant tone in talks this week.

Irish farming groups say plans for a drop in cost for beef imports could have a devastating effect on Irish agriculture.

President of the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers Association Malcolm Thompson says if it goes ahead it will have a crushing effect on beef farmers here as it would cause Irish beef to become uncompetitive.

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