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Schwab: Market Access Is Key to Doha

The U.S. Trade Representative says that the U.S. is committed to working towards a successful Doha round, but chances are slim if Congress doesn't renew the President's trade promotion authority.

The U.S. is ready to make concessions in order to bring about a successful Doha round of world trade talks, but the rest of the WTO members need to do their part as well, according to U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab.

"There is no escaping the fact that market access is key to success," Schwab told the Business Council in Washington, D.C.

An obstacle within the U.S. could be even more important, Schwab says. President Bush's trade promotion authority is set to expire this summer unless renewed by Congress, and any trade deal would be much less likely to be approved by Congress without TPA. Not only that, Schwab says, but because of the U.S.'s important role in the global talks, "Without TPA, there will be no Doha Round."

But a Washington Post article Thursday morning says that, according to sources briefed on the talks, the Bush administration and Democratic leaders in Congress are working on a compromise that would "insert stricter labor rules into future trade treaties, potentially lending fresh momentum to the global effort to promote free trade."

The agreement would help the Doha round gain momentum, the article suggests, but the deal is not final as it has not yet been approved by the President.

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