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Schwab Sees No Imminent WTO Deal

The U.S. Trade Representative says she doesn't expect any breakthrough on trade barriers any time soon.

Although trade representatives from many countries agree World Trade Organization talks should restart on a technical level, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab does not expect any breakthroughs soon. 

"Just as the last several months have been months of very intensive, quiet consultations and discussions, I suspect the next several months will be characterized by much of the same," Susan Schwab told reporters at the World Trade Organization.

Schwab did not advance any proposals on agricultural issues, which were a large part of the reason talks collapsed in July. The European Union does not believe Washington's proposal to cut farm subsidies goes far enough, Washington wants the EU to make deeper cuts in farm import tariffs, and Schwab sees no breakthrough on lowering trade barriers in the near future. 

"Clearly we have a lot of work to do to find a landing zone where we have convergence because we haven't identified that," she says.

However, Schwab does say that trade negotiators at last week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland had "a new sense of optimism and a sense of momentum that had been sorely lacking since July." 

Source: United Press International

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