June 23, 2006
The United States is still trying to get other countries to match its proposal in world trade talks for extensive opening of agricultural markets and remains "fully committed" to its objectives, a spokeswoman for the office of the U.S. trade representative said on Thursday.
"Recent press reports suggest that the U.S. government may be ready to settle and lower ambition to conclude the Doha talks. We want Doha to succeed but the U.S. remains fully committed to our objectives to conclude an ambitious trade round," Neena Morjani said in a statement.
A recent report in Inside U.S. Trade, a specialist publication, said the United States was prepared to scale back its demands for average farm tariff cuts of 66 percent and move closer to a proposal by the G20 developing countries for average cuts of 54 percent.
After four-and-a-half years of negotiations, the Doha round of world trade talks is deemed to be at the point in which it could fail or succeed in the next six weeks.
The United States has offered to make deep cuts in its domestic farm subsidies, but only if other countries slash their tariffs on farm and manufactured goods and also open their markets to more international services companies.
But Washington is coming under pressure from the European Union and from the G20 group of developing countries to sweeten its offer and look again at its market access demands, which Brussels has termed unrealistic.
"The U.S. proposal in agriculture is the only one on the table that actually delivers on the Doha mandate of substantial improvement in market access and we're trying to get others to match our vision," Moorjani said.
"The United States will not accept an outcome, nor put forward any proposal, that falls short of creating new trade flows in agriculture, industrial goods and services." Reprinted from Reuters - Article Written by Sophie Walker