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Doha Round Suspension a Serious Setback

25 July 2006

Press release from New Zealand Trade Liberalisation Network

Doha Round Suspension a Serious Setback – But Don’t Count the WTO Out Just Yet, Says, Says TLN

“Today’s news from Geneva regarding suspension of the WTO talks represents a major blow for export-dependent nations such as New Zealand, and also for the poorest economies of the world” said Trade Liberalisation Network Chair Philip Lewin this morning.

“However, no previous WTO negotiation has ever been successfully concluded on time, or without a crisis. The likelihood remains that there will be a Doha Round outcome – but not for another two or three years.”

Mr Lewin was commenting in response to an announcement by WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy that because key countries remain too far apart – particularly on agriculture - the Doha talks are to be suspended till further notice.

“While there is little to be gained from playing the blame game, it is plain that governments across the Northern Hemisphere have not mustered the political resolve to face down their domestic farm lobbies, and to each make the concessions needed to give the world economy this much needed boost.”

“Successive New Zealand ministers and officials have worked tirelessly to help free up global trade – both for New Zealand’s own direct benefit and to lift the tide for all boats, particularly the world’s poorest nations.”

“NZTLN is dismayed by this latest failure. However, it must be merely a step along the way to ultimate resolution and a better deal for all open market exporting nations.”


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