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WTO Negotiations at Snail's Pace

WTO Negotiations at Snail's Pace

Progress is slow so new texts likely won't be ready by Easter.

WTO ambassadors have told an informal meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee that they share Director General Pascal Lamy's concern that recent progress on substance in the Doha Round is not fast enough to meet late April targets. Several also reiterated their particular concerns in a range of topics being negotiated in the Doha Round.

Some negotiators have welcomed a proposal from a group of countries aimed at making progress in negotiations on trade in environmental goods and some described other efforts they are making to move the talks forward on a wide range of topics. Some said the mixture of different types of meetings is not working so well in producing movement towards agreement of substance. Some acknowledged that the burden is on their own shoulders.

Lamy chairs the Trade Negotiations Committee, which oversees the detailed talks in the many subjects. The negotiations currently aim to produce new or revised draft texts in a range of subjects by Easter, to agree on these and some other legal drafts by June or July and to conclude the round by the end of the year. Lamy says some give-and-take is happening but it is too timid and too slow to meet the target of new or revised texts by Easter.

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