Pressure continues to build for completion of the World Trade Organization Doha round, which would include an agreement that provides new markets for
Ambassador to the WTO and Deputy USTR Peter Allgeier reiterated Thursday that contrary to what reports say, "No, there is not a new
Ministers from 35 countries plan to meet in
Allgeier states ministers next week should focus negotiations on market access in agriculture, tariff cuts, thresholds for sensitive and special products, the magnitude of domestic support cuts and what it would mean for amber and blue box payment levels.
He explains if ministers could agree on key areas, such as tariff cuts, it could give people confidence in the following weeks to fill in the more minute details. For instance once major issues are dealt with, issues such as preference erosion, can logically come together from the core of the solution, he states.
Many saw the upcoming meeting as the deadline needed to reach the how and when of an agreement. Although it is no longer being called the final deadline, Allgeier says if modalities aren't laid out soon chances of passage diminish. "We think if we haven't done it by end of July, we don't know how we could get everything done by the end of the year," he says.
New United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab will meet with commodity groups today (Friday) before she leaves for next week's negotiations in Geneva.