Stalled ag-trade talks up and running again, report WTO delegates

April 29, 2004, as reported by There appears to be hope on the horizon for agricultural trade talks, World Trade Organization participants report. This is welcome news after disagreements over acceptable Ag subsidies and aid lead to a bitter break up of last summer’s meeting in Cancun.

Officials are reporting that the restarted Doha Development Round is making slow but steady progress. Talking to, participating diplomats based their qualified optimism on agreed objectives and timetables, genuine political commitment, an absence of previously widespread cynicism and a better appreciation of WTO officials’ work.

They said there was no evidence that the talks were blocked, as they worked towards agreeing principles on market access and domestic support this summer. This crevice of light is the first good news emerging from the talks since the EU and the US agreed a common approach on agriculture before Cancun last September although it has yet to be seen how the recent ruling against the U.S.’s cotton subsidies will affect the talks.

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