The wire service WFP has reported that Warren Truss, trade minister, Australia, has issued a call on the United States to send a 'powerful signal' on cutting farm subsidies to break a six-year deadlock in talks on freeing up global trade. Apparently, Truss issued the call after meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab ahead of a summit of 21 Asia-Pacific economies.
His comments came as WTO envoys restarted talks in Geneva in an effort to break a long-standing deadlock in the Doha round. Truss apparently told reporters that other countries, particularly ag producing countries, want to see the United States make a positive step toward reducing farm support. Truss says he wants to see the United States take action in relation to farm subsidies both in the 2007 Farm Bill and in relation to the Doha round.
Truss did add that it was important that other countries and trading blocs make corresponding concessions to the United States, noting that one country can't be expected to carry the whole load on this issue.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Community Development meetings being in Sydney this week, and trade will be on the agenda at that meeting.