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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A Doha round collapse is a betrayal of poor countries

This is the position of Abdoulaye Sanoko, counsellor at Mali's mission to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, speaking to IPS in an interview. “However, we don't want to conclude the round at any cost, but rather to emphasise its developmental aspects. In contrast, the big stakeholders are stressing market access.” Nobody knows exactly how least developed countries (LDCs) would be affected by a collapse of the round. A study requested by the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group has not been started. But LDCs would be happy with a conclusion on the round on the basis of the current (2008) negotiating texts as “it would be better than losing everything”, Sanoko added. However, Romain Benicchio, trade policy officer at Oxfam International in Geneva, differs: “We do need a multilateral agreement that responds to the needs of poor countries, but one can doubt that what is on the table now would really benefit them.” Recently, WTO director general Pascal Lamy acknowledged that the round “could fail”. The U.S.'s demand that large emerging markets slash tariffs in entire industrial sectors have led to seemingly insurmountable differences with Brazil, India and China.

Source: IPS