Saturday, June 26, 2010

U.S. Accuses China of Blocking Doha Trade Talks

( – Reuters)

The World Trade Organization’s long-running Doha round is stuck and a deal is impossible until China and other big emerging economies join real negotiations to open their markets, the U.S. ambassador to the WTO said on Thursday.

The unusually outspoken comments were a sign of Washington’s frustration at the reluctance of China, Brazil and India – among the most dynamic players in the world economy – to create more market opportunities to reach a deal in the talks.

Ambassador Michael Punke said China was stalling on talks on the global trade round sought by the United States, but there were signs that Brazil and India were willing to negotiate. “When it comes to China however we’re getting no engagement whatsoever, not even in terms of process,” he told Reuters. “We find it very hard to see how it is we’re going to be able to move forward with Doha negotiations if China is not even in a position right now to consult with its domestic industry.”

Punke’s comments added to pressure put on China on Wednesday by his boss, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

With G20 leaders expected to call in Toronto this weekend yet again for a renewed push to conclude the Doha round, his remarks highlight the difficulties in reaching an agreement. Read mpre here.