Restarting Doha . . . almost

Steve Tripoli Nov 21, 2006
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Restarting Doha . . . almost

Steve Tripoli Nov 21, 2006
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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Everyone seems to be talking about the Doha trade talks, the talks that were pronounced dead in July. The World Trade Organization is planning to kick off a new round of preliminary meetings that it hopes will jumpstart the talks. A lot of emphasis is being placed on the importance of reaching a breakthrough. But as Steve Tripoli tells us, none of the parties to the original talks wants to be the first one to make any concessions.


STEVE TRIPOLI: From Asia to Europe to North America trade reps are chattering again. The basic message is, we’ve really got to get this done.

Trade expert Susan Sechler at the German Marshall Fund says there’s talk about compromise. But still nothing about, who’s going to do it.

SUSAN SECHLER: I don’t think they’ve come up with solutions for some of their larger problems.

Ann Tutwiler of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation says agriculture’s the big stumbling block, at least for three of the biggest Doha players: the U.S., India and Europe.

ANN TUTWILER: I think that once agriculture moves, some of the other things that need to happen get a bit easier.

But is there any sign of movement? Ann Tutwiler says there might be in time to revive these talks.

TUTWILER: I guess I would give it around, 40 percent odds at this point.

But as of now she says there’s no concrete sign nations are joining hands and moving forward on concessions that would close a deal.

I’m Steve Tripoli for Marketplace.

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