labels: world trade organisation, trade
Global trade talks shift to New Delhi; US may lift ban on Indian mango news
11 April 2007

Mumbai: Trade ministers from four trading powers have kicked off a two-day meeting aimed at galvanising the Doha Round of world trade talks.

The United States, the European Union, India and Brazil have started bilateral talks ahead of their first four-way meeting since July when the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations all but collapsed over agriculture.

EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson said he was entering the talks with an open mind. "Always positive, always on the front foot. Always showing flexibility, and I will do my best to sustain that position on the European Union''s behalf," he told reporters.

A statement from the ministry of commerce, hosting the talks, said the ministers were expected to discuss areas of convergence as well as steps needed "to enable a successful conclusion of the Doha Round."

The US is trying to woo India in the global trade arena by promising greater access to the American consumer market by lifting the ban on its mangoes. For years, the US has refused to import them because they didn''t meet sanitary conditions.

Last year, President Bush promised to change that. And now, the US is sharing the costs of irradiating the fruits to rid them of pests.

This will be the first gathering of trade ministers from the G-4 nations since the Doha talks collapsed last July. That''s when Washington refused to give ground on cutting subsidies for farmers. The stakes are high because President Bush''s trade promotion authority will expire at the end of June.

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Global trade talks shift to New Delhi; US may lift ban on Indian mango