Success Of Doha Round Hinges On U.S Says India

The ultimate success of the struggling, five-year-old Doha Round talks at the WTO hinges on Washington's willingness to compromise, a senior Indian trade negotiator said June 15.

The ball is squarely in the U.S. court as WTO members try to break the impasse in talks on tearing down barriers to commerce, said Gopal Pillai, the number three official at India's Ministry of Commerce.

The negotiations have been on a tightrope since they were launched in the Qatari capital in 2001 with the goal of breaking down barriers to commerce and using trade to improve the lot of the developing world. Rich and poor countries have long swapped blame for the deadlock in the talks, which also cover trade in industrial goods and services. The EU has in the past taken most of the fire from the developing world for keeping its trade barriers too high.

India's move to shift the spotlight onto Washington may be part of the jockeying ahead of a meeting of trade ministers at the end of this month which is meant to cut a deal on the formulas for subsidy and tariff cuts.

The U.S. has called for average tariff cuts of 66%. India, Brazil and other key developing country players which are part of the G20 grouping has in turn offered to cut tariffs by 36% provided rich nations reduce theirs by 54%.

Sources: IndustryWeek staff, Agence France-Presse

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