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Collapse of WTO Talks - Damn shame not a disaster

Collapse of WTO Talks - Damn shame but not a disaster

It's a damn shame said Trade Liberalisation Executive Director Suse Reynolds reacting to the collapse of the Ministerial talks in Cancun, Mexico this morning.

"We are witnessing two factors at work - a trade round in its relative infancy and the ascendancy of developing countries," she said. "The Doha Round is barely two years old. It was always an ambitious target to conclude the round by the beginning of 2005.

Not at all unusual for trade rounds to go to the precipice and come back from the brink.

"The Uruguay Round took eight years to conclude with a couple of these sorts of set backs.

"We need to bear in mind too that with elections pending in both the US and EU in the next year there is very little political will to take tough decisions at this time.

"If we look at developing countries, they now make up over 80% of the WTO's membership and are determined not to be pushed around. In the past the EU and US could broker deals which were able to foist on the rest of the membership. That's no longer possible and it's a healthy development. "However its taking both trading super powers longer than it should to come to terms with that reality," said Suse Reynolds.

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