During the G20 summit last week in London world economic leaders agreed to try to "kick-start" trade liberalization talks at G8's next meeting in July. President Obama backed the move after calls from European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The major emerging nations, notably India, Brazil, China and South Africa, will also be invited to the G8 summit in Italy.
In the summit's official communiqué the group said they face the greatest challenge to the world economy in modern times, which affects the lives of women, men, and children in every country, and which all countries must join together to resolve. A global crisis requires a global solution.
"We start from the belief that prosperity is indivisible; that growth, to be sustained, has to be shared," said the communiqué. "And that our global plan for recovery must have at its heart the needs and jobs of hard-working families, not just in developed countries but in emerging markets and the poorest countries of the world too; and must reflect the interests, not just of today's population, but of future generations."
WTO Director General Pascal Lamy told Reuters that President Obama has been extremely engaged in WTO negotiations. "My sense is that the overall stance of the United States is the right one," Lamy said. "We are not there yet and I understand the U.S. needs some time to weigh up what is on the table."
Lamy could call a key ministerial meeting once Washington has indicated its position. "I will do this as soon as I make a judgment that having ministers around the table is what we need to move forward," Lamy said. "I am not saying when it will take place ... but the sooner the better."