You are hereU.S. Not Ready For High-Level Engagement On Doha Before The Fall
U.S. Not Ready For High-Level Engagement On Doha Before The Fall
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.
Kirk conveyed this message in meetings held with foreign trade leaders since his confirmation on March 18.
"Ambassador Kirk's message was that a ministerial gathering shouldn't be scheduled unless there is a reasonable chance of success, and that his point is that the path to Doha success will be driven by advancing the substance, not by planning calendar dates," a U.S. trade official said.