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TESS VIGELAND: President Bush meets with European Union leaders in Vienna today for a biannual summit. No doubt we’ll hear pledges of trans-Atlantic cooperation. And the leaders will sign some agreements on saving energy and fighting counterfeiters. But, John Dimsdale reports, the talks are fall short on resolving the big trade issues.
JOHN DIMSDALE: Time is short for getting a global agreement on reducing barriers to trade in agriculture and manufactured products. Congress’ grant of so-called fast-track authority for the President to close international trade deals is running out, and differences between the US and Europe over domestic subsidies and tariff protections for farmers have not budged in three years.
GARY HUFBAUER: We say Europe hasn’t gone far enough, and they say we have not gone far enough.
Gary Hufbauer is with the Institute for International Economics. He, like many other trade analysts, is not expecting any breakthroughs today. And he says even if the US and EU find common ground, globalization is making trade deals more complex.
HUFBAUER: We still have many other important players — India, China, Brazil, South Africa — who have to come to the party or there will not be a party.
Trade ministers from around the world meet at the end of June in a last ditch effort to apply some deadline pressure to the global stalemate.
In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.
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