US has voiced its serious misgivings about the new draft for a global trade deal
that will be debated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 3 September, but
has said that it would continue serious and concerted efforts to find a deal after
years of talks.
new draft has been criticised for lacking clarity in the three key areas of agriculture,
non-farm manufacturing and services.
WTO has been trying to bring an agreement to its current round of free trade talks,
which began in Doha in 2001, without much success as developed nations and less-developed
countries have clashed over tariffs levels, the amount of state aid given to key
industries, and the level of access to markets.
from the logjam between the US, the EU and other developing nations, the US Congress
is strongly opposed to the global trade deal, and has refused to extend the "fast-track"
negotiating authority of President George Bush to assent to any trade deal.
WTO''s director general Pascal Lamy has expressed the view that a trade deal could
be very close. "We have already come a long way in this round, and the distance
left to go is not so great. But it will require an extra effort," he added.
Lamy has said
that finalising the deal would need compromises on all sides, intensive work and
an undertaking to negotiate with all the nations involved in the talks.
added that a month still remained in which to iron out any problems that may arise
and ahead of the WTO talks due in September. "It is important that everybody
be fit and ready on the starting line at that time," he said.
US, represented by its ambassador Peter Allgeier, agreed that the draft plans
had managed to move the debate forward, but said that it still has serious concerns
with some of the content in each of the draft texts.
a statement Allgeier, said, "Both the draft texts serve to underscore what
the US believes is a continuing fundamental, and still unmet, challenge of the
the US there is no higher international trade priority than a successful conclusion
of an ambitious Doha round securing a strong market-opening that will result
in meaningful new economic opportunities and trade flows worldwide in agriculture,
industrial goods and services.table
prepared to carry forward our work, fully equipped with the will and flexibility
necessary. We ask that our trading partners do likewise."