Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Asian leaders attempt to revive stalled trade talks

Asian leaders pledged to make concessions on agricultural issues to

revive stalled World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks, according to a statement

released today.

Members of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum

meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, said they were taking the lead and that others must

follow.

``We are ready to break the current deadlock: each of us is committed to

moving beyond our current positions in key areas,'' the statement said.

``That means making deeper reductions in trade-distorting farm support by

major players, creating new market access in agriculture, making real cuts in

industrial tariffs and establishing new openings in services trade while dealing

seriously with members' concerns and sensitivities."

The so-called Doha round of WTO talks collapsed four months ago due to

differences over farm subsidies and tariffs.

Poorer countries are clamouring for an end to export subsidies and restrictive

tariffs that prevent them from selling their farm goods in rich countries.

But moves to end such protection have met strong resistance from politically

powerful agricultural lobbies.

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