US groups criticize global trade talks

US groups criticize global trade talks
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First Published: Wed, Jul 16 2008. 11 02 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Jul 16 2008. 11 02 PM IST
Washington: The outline of a new global trade deal is unacceptable, said US farm groups and the largest representative of American manufacturing firms.
Current proposals in the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for cuts in tariffs by developing countries won’t be enough to compensate for cuts in US subsidies, rice, sugar, milk, cotton and other farm groups wrote to President George W. Bush.
“We urge you to reject any agreement that does not deliver real market access gains in agriculture commensurate with our domestic support,” 13 separate farmers’ groups wrote.
The groups had “deep concern about the status and direction” of the Doha Round.
Three dozen trade ministers and officials are to meet in Geneva next week in a renewed attempt to outline an accord to cut agriculture subsidies in rich nations and reduce tariffs on farm and industrial goods around the world.
“It remains very difficult,” John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, told reporters on Tuesday.
Without acquiescence from Brazil, India and China to pursue talks to remove tariffs altogether for products such as chemicals, industrial machinery and medical devices, a new WTO deal won’t provide enough benefit to US manufacturers to make it worthwhile, the group said.
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First Published: Wed, Jul 16 2008. 11 02 PM IST