Brazil Rallies G20 Nations for WTO Talks

The G20 group of developing nations will hold a high-level meeting in November to discuss proposed changes to tariffs on farm and industrial goods that are proving the main stumbling block for the current round of global trade talks. Agreement between the WTO's 151 members on the Doha round of free trade talks, launched in Qatar's capital six years ago, has so far been elusive.

Celso Amorim, Brazil's foreign minister, told reporters he would be joined by India's trade minister Kamal Nath at the headquarters of the World Trade Organization in Geneva on Nov. 15 "and we hope this will encourage other ministers also to be present." Brazil has taken a leading role in rallying the developing world to push rich countries into opening up their heavily protected and subsidized agriculture markets. At the same time, Brazil and other emerging economies have resisted pressure from the United States and European Union to lower their import duties on industrial goods.

Amorim said he hoped officials leading talks on these two issues would take the views of the G20 - which also includes Mexico, Egypt, China, South Africa and Argentina - into account when formulating a compromise proposal. Amorim expressed optimism Wednesday that a deal can be reached.

Source: Associated Press