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G8 to call for completion of WTO Doha Round by 2010

The Globe and Mail reports that, “G8 leaders (from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and Canada) and their (G5) counterparts from China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa will agree (on Thursday) to successfully complete the Doha round of negotiations by 2010, according to a draft of (this week’s) summit’s concluding statement obtained by Reuters news agency.”

The draft statement from the “G8 plus G5” says, “Leaders commit to reaching an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Doha round in 2010, consistent with its mandate, building on progress already made on modalities.” It also says, “We instruct relevant ministers to meet before the G20 in Pittsburgh (in September).”

“The talks have been all but stalled for a year after the United States and India failed to bridge their differences on agricultural policy, among other issues.”

Reuters adds that, “WTO chief Pascal Lamy said last month that a deal could be clinched in 2010 because the mood of the negotiations had improved since the appointment this year of U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and India trade minister Anand Sharma whose countries are seen as key to unlocking a deal.”

The Globe and Mail notes that, “Mélisa Leclerc, a spokeswoman for Trade Minister Stockwell Day, said Canada supports the completion of Doha, although she declined to say whether leaders are poised to commit to a deadline. ‘In the current global economic crisis, pursuing an ambitious free-trade agenda is more important than ever,’ she said.”

To read our July 30, 2008 media release ‘Canada Needs to Abandon Failed Model of World Trade Talks, says Maude Barlow’, please go to http://canadians.org/media/trade/2008/30-Jul-08.html.

More Council of Canadians commentary on the WTO can be read at http://canadians.org/trade/issues/WTO/index.html.

The Globe and Mail article is at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/leaders-put-focus-on-free-trade/article1209886/.

The Reuters article is at http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090707/india_nm/india408694.