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WTO leader: Doha stumbles on agriculture

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy says agriculture holds the key to the resumption of the Doha Round negotiations, and, until agriculture's issues are resolved, he expects little progress toward reaching a new global trade agreement.

An article on the Web site says Lamy told European parliament members in Brussels Oct. 19 that he is trying to get the five-year-old negotiations restarted by meeting with countries and groups of countries to find a solution to the impasse in the round.

“We are going to try to exert more pressure so negotiations can restart,” he was quoted as saying. “We want to support the tacit work that's being done, by whichever group, whichever coalition.”

Lamy suspended the talks after it became apparent that negotiators for the United States, the European Union and Brazil were unable to find common ground in disputes over agricultural subsidies and tariff rules during a meeting in Geneva July 24.

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