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Tuesday, 16 September 2008

No "plan B" alternative to Doha round, says Peter Mandelson

There is no "plan B" following the breakdown of multilateral trade talks in Geneva in July, Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson told a special meeting of the EP International Trade Committee on Monday. Replying to MEPs' questions, he warned that a failure of the Doha round would have knock-on effects on the multilateral system and on certain international agreements, such as the follow-up to Kyoto. The Commissioner announced that the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Caribbean countries should be signed by the end of 2008. Robert Sturdy, Erika Mann et Glyn Ford (PES, UK) voiced concern about the fate of Haiti and Guyana, which had announced that they would not sign an EPA. Mr Mandelson said that there are only two legal options: either signing an EPA by 31 October, or applying the generalized preferences system, which he described as "less favourable".
Source: European Parliament