US repeats call to close WTO talks

US repeats call to close WTO talks

Washington: Chances for a world trade deal could slip away if countries refuse to negotiate on the basis of two draft texts unveiled in July, the top US trade official said on Monday.

“There have been quite frankly some obstructionist members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) who don’t want the talks to succeed and who don’t want to negotiate on the basis of these texts," US trade representative Susan Schwab said after an event to push for congressional approval of four pending free-trade agreements.

Schwab, who attended the recently-concluded Asia-Pacific summit in Australia, said the next six weeks are critical to the success of world trade talks, launched nearly six years ago in Doha, Qatar.

The US, China, Japan, Russia and other member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation account for nearly 50% of world trade and almost 60% of world economic output.

The group urged a quick conclusion to world trade talks and asked all WTO members to negotiate on the basis of the draft agricultural and industrial goods texts, which were released in July.