Iowa Public Television


Trade Talks to Resume

posted on January 20, 2006

Top trade officials from 30 countries say they plan to resume talks this month on a new global treaty based on an agreement made at the World Trade Organization meeting in Hong Kong. The five-day meeting is set to begin on January 25 in Davos, Switzerland.

After missing an initial target to set a framework for a new trade liberalization treaty during the Hong Kong talks last month, ministers from the WTO's 149 member governments now aim to hammer out specifics of tariff and subsidy cuts on industrial and farm goods by the end of April.

The WTO did manage to resolve some key issues in Hong Kong that had earlier blocked progress in the talks. These included an agreement to eliminate trade-distorting export subsidies to farmers by 2013; giving developing countries more flexibility in opening their markets to foreign competition; and giving exporters in the world's poorest nations duty-free access to wealthy countries' markets.

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