Dutch minister blames US for failure in WTO trade talks

July 30th, 2008 - 6:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, July 30 (Xinhua) Dutch Foreign Trade Minister Frank Heemskerk has said US reluctance to make concessions was partly to blame for the collapse of the Doha Round of trade talks. It was difficult to pinpoint exactly why the talks broke down, he said Tuesday.

The minister said he felt that the US became increasingly less willing to make further concessions in the last few days.

Washington could have done more in the area of cotton production, he said.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations broke down Tuesday after nine days of tough talks in Geneva.

Grave differences remain between the US and India on measures to protect farmers in poorer countries against increasing imports.

The collapse of talks on further liberalisation of world trade is “a great pity,” said Heemskerk, who represented the Netherlands at the WTO meeting in Geneva.

“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 was quoted as saying.

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