Minister: collapse trade talks ‘great pity’

The collapse of talks on the further liberalisation of world trade is ‘a great pity’ junior economic affairs minister Frank Heemskerk told ANP news service on Tuesday evening after the World Trade Organisation failed to reach agreement on a new pact.

Heemskerk represented the Netherlands at the WTO meeting in Geneva which started more than a week ago.
‘An agreement could have led to much profit. Not only for the poorest countries, but also for businesses and consumers in the Netherlands because free trade leads to lower prices and thus more spending power,’ Heemskerk is quoted as saying.
He said that it was difficult to pinpoint exactly why the talks broke down but said that the US became increasingly less willing to make further concessions in the last few days. He felt that America could have done more in the area of cotton production.
‘On the other hand you can also expect countries where things are going well, such as India and Brazil, to further open up their markets,’ Heemskerk told ANP.
The current so-called Doha round of trade talks started in 2001 with the aim of reducing
global poverty by giving poor countries more access to world markets.

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