Home / News / U.S. disappointed with lack of a breakthrough in Doha Round

U.S. disappointed with lack of a breakthrough in Doha Round

Agriculture.com Staff 07/03/2006 @ 7:25am

Last week's World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Geneva, which were held to break the current deadlock in the Doha Round, concluded Saturday without a breakthrough.

U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns participated in several days of negotiations, including bilateral and small-group meetings. They describe the situation as serious, but not beyond hope.

"We remain fully committed to an ambitious, robust round that opens new markets for the world's farmers, manufacturers and service providers," said Schwab. "This is the only way to deliver on the Doha promise as a development round. We have no intention of giving up hope."

Johanns said, "The meetings this week were important -- our big task was to agree on how to deliver on the Doha mandate to 'substantially improve' market access in agriculture through programs of fundamental reform and by reducing barriers to industrial goods. We don't have all the answers yet, but the central question of market access is squarely on the table. We also had a long overdue discussion on the balance that we all need to achieve for the Round to succeed."

Schwab that last October, when the U.S. delegation put a major agricultural offer on the table, it expected it other nations to respond with similar moves. "That hasn't happened yet," she said. The next step, she said, is to shift the debate from how to grow loopholes in agriculture and manufactured goods that undermine liberalization, and focus instead of what each of the countries can bring to the table to ensure the Doha Round succeeds. "We are ready to roll up our sleeves and work to find the breakthrough that will enable the successful conclusion of the Doha Round," she said. "It is the right thing to do for the U.S. economy, global development, and strengthening of the world trading system."

"We see this as a negotiation," Johanns said. "And we're at the table, and we're going to keep our sleeves rolled up and do everything we can to bring this to a successful resolution. But we have to have something to work with, and we just don't have the market access necessary to give us something to work with today. But I hope that will change.

"This is only one day in a round that has gone on for four and a half years," Johanns continued. "And I would hate to characterize the round by a few hours of discussion on one day. But it's concerning, I will tell you that. It is a worrisome development."

Back in the U.S., President of the American Farm Bureau Federation Bob Stallman expressed his disappointment with the stall in talks. "The domestic support proposal put forth by the U.S. is ambitious and means real cuts to American agriculture," he said. "We hope other nations will recognize the importance of improved market access to developed and developing countries alike."

Last week's World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Geneva, which were held to break the current deadlock in the Doha Round, concluded Saturday without a breakthrough.

CancelPost Comment
MORE FROM AGRICULTURE.COM STAFF more +

Farm and ranch risk management resources By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Government resources USDA Risk Management Agency Download free insurance program and…

Major types of crop insurance policies By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Crop insurance for major field crops comes in two types: yield-based coverage that pays an…

Marketing 101 - Are options the right tool… By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am "If you are looking for a low risk way to protect yourself against prices moving either higher or…

MEDIA CENTERmore +
This container should display a .swf file. If not, you may need to upgrade your Flash player.
"Turnaround Tuesday" Fades