Johanns Hopes to Advance Trade in India

USDA Secretary may be able to help WTO move forward in talks with India; NCGA says that chances of Doha resumption could be looking up.

The National Corn Growers Association points out indications that the World Trade Organization's Doha round of trade negotiations may resume. As USDA Secretary Mike Johanns talks trade with ministers in India, a key WTO player, he may even be able to help advance the possibility of resumption of the Doha round.

Johanns will be talking about bilateral and multilateral agricultural trade with India, and before leaving for the Nov. 18-22 trip, he mentioned that he would talk with ministers there about Doha.

India currently wants 95 to 98% of their special products marketplace protected, Johanns says, a figure which the U.S. can not agree to.

NCGA suggests that Doha talks might get back on track. WTO Director Pascal Lamy pointed out last week that the number of informal contracts between WTO members has increased since the summer, calling it a "sign of this growing and widely shared desire to make the most of every opportunity to lay the foundations for further progress."

Lamy says that negotiators will have to make significant progress by early spring if the Doha rounds are to be completed by the end of 2007.

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