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Inside U.S. Trade
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk has privately cautioned foreign trade officials that the Obama administration will likely not be ready to engage in another Doha round ministerial meeting to try to reach an elusive breakthrough on agriculture and industrial goods until the fall at the earliest, and perhaps not until the end of the year, sources said today (March 30).
World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy had been interested in trying to hold another ministerial meeting this summer, but in light of the U.S. reluctance Geneva negotiators have already shifted their focus to identifying what could be accomplished by the end of the year, sources said.
In addition to the time needed for the new U.S. administration to determine its position in the talks, Kirk has also pointed out that India will hold elections this spring and has argued that it may take time for the new Indian government to get up to speed on the Doha talks, one source said.
Mexico City, March 16 – 18, 2009
At its Third Tri-National Meeting, unions, networks and social movement organizations from the energy sector of Canada, the US and Mexico committed to seeking solutions to the major challenges facing the sector in their respective countries and in the region overall.
The three countries are facing serious problems in their attempt to confront the current global economic crisis affecting North America as well as the other countries of the world: the crisis of the banking system, unemployment, the criminalization of social protest, the destruction of productive forces, deterioration of the environment, the irrational exploitation of energy resources, privatization and the dismantling of social programs and services.
The past few months have seen one of the most significant financial crises in North American and European history. The response was just as historic. To stave off regional and global recessions and restore stability and confidence in the market, northern governments are pursuing a massive and unprecedented program of government intervention, nationalizing banks, injecting massive subsidies into ailing institutions and re-regulating their financial sectors.
This response sits in direct contrast to the austere neoliberal policies pressed on developing countries by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and developed countries for the past thirty years. Governments have been pushed to liberalize trade barriers, deregulate financial and labour markets, privatize national industries, abolish subsidies, and reduce social and economic spending. The state saw its role severely reduced.