WTO Talks Continue in Geneva

Officials will gather again to move Doha Round forward.

A group of officials from World Trade Organization member nations gathered in Geneva last week in an effort to begin moving the Doha Round of global trade talks forward following the collapse of negotiations in late July.

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy says that the ministers in Geneva last week would like to renew the effort to end the round by year's end.

"Entering the continuance of a strong and effective multi-lateral trading system is in the interest of every and all," Lamy said.

USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber says many trade officials are headed back to Geneva this week to see if there is some basis that they can move forward on these talks. Glauber, who is the main agricultural negotiator for the U.S., says the sticky issues of the limited supplies of food commodities and current high prices of food were main factors in the collapse of the talks in July.

"Obviously if you're trying to convince countries that are concerned about food security but recognize that there is value to reducing tariffs so they can import in times when supplies are tight," says Glauber. "At the same point you can't tell them those supplies might not be there because someone has decided to increase their effective taxes or whatever at the border."

Negotiators will try to get past those issues this week as they meet again in Geneva.

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