U.S. Trade Rep Seeks WTO Negotiations Restart

By John S. McClenahen Robert B. Zoellick has not only written to more than 140 of his counterparts in other countries urging a "common sense" approach to getting the stalled Doha Round of international trade talks moving again. Zoellick, the U.S. Trade Representative, also plans to do an around-the-world tour next month to press his case. Zoellick's letter suggests that the negotiations, being held under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, should focus on core market access for goods, services and agriculture, including what he terms "an ambitious tariff-cutting formula for manufactured goods that includes sufficient flexibility so that the methodology will work for all economies." In November 2002, the U.S. proposed elimination of tariffs on industrial and consumer goods by 2015. Zoellick is proposing that before the end of this year he and other trade ministers hold a full-dress meeting in Hong Kong. But whether enough progress on core issues will have been made to justify such a meeting very much remains to be seen.

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