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Dutch minister blames U.S. for failure in WTO trade talks

Posted: 2008-07-31
From: MNN
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Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade Frank Heemskerk has said U.S. reluctance to make concessions was partly to blame for the collapse of the world trade Doha Round talks.

BRUSSELS, July 30 (Xinhua) -- He said on Tuesday evening that it was difficult to pinpoint exactly why the talks broke down, but he felt that the United States became increasingly less willing to make further concessions in the last few days.

He said that Washington could have done more in the area of cotton production.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations broke down Tuesday after nine days of tough talks in Geneva. Grave differences remain between the United States and India on measures to protect farmers in poorer countries against increasing imports.

The collapse of talks on further liberalization of world trade is "a great pity," said Heemskerk, who represented the Netherlandsat the WTO meeting in Geneva.

"An agreement could have led to much profit. Not only for the poorest countries, but also for businesses and consumers in the Netherlands because free trade leads to lower prices and thus more spending power," Heemskerk was quoted as saying.

The so-called Doha Round of trade talks started in 2001 with the aim of reducing global poverty by giving poor countries more access to world markets.
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