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Montevideo, May 27th 2019 - 11:30 UTC

Lamy calls on WTO members for “an adult conversation” fearing failure of trade talks

Wednesday, July 27th 2011 - 04:07 UTC
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“We are facing the inability of WTO to adapt to priorities”, says Lamy “We are facing the inability of WTO to adapt to priorities”, says Lamy

The head of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy warned Tuesday its 153 members of the consequences on failing to agree a watered-down global trade deal by December and called for “an adult conversation” over what to do next.

“What we are seeing today is the paralysis in negotiating function of the WTO, whether it is on market access or on the rule-making” Lamy told the WTO Trade Negotiations Committee, according to a transcript of his remarks.

The head of the WTO says failure to agree a way forward on the Doha trade talks is a sign of “paralysis in the negotiating function of the WTO” that risk overshadowing the entire body, including its role in settling disputes.

Lamy urged trade diplomats to reflect on their incapability to complete the decade-long trade liberalization talks, and return in the fall prepared for an “adult conversation” ahead of a ministerial meeting in December.

“What we are facing is the inability of the WTO to adapt and adjust to emerging global trade priorities, those you cannot solve through bilateral deals,” he added.

Launched in Qatar's capital in 2001, the Doha round was praised as an opportunity to insert billions of dollars to the world economy by cutting tariffs and helping poor countries trade their way out of poverty.

However talks for a global deal have stalled amid persistent disagreements between developed nations and emerging countries on tariff cuts for industrial goods or reductions in subsidies paid to domestic farming communities.

Amid an impasse, WTO member states were initially hoping to kick-start talks by first agreeing by December on a small package dubbed LDC-Plus that includes salient issues for the poorest states.

“However, I have to share with all of you what I sense is a collective assessment that the LDC-Plus package as we framed it in May is not taking shape as we would have wished,” said Lamy.

Categories: Economy, International.
Tags: Pascal Lamy, WTO.

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