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US and Brazil Hope for Progress in the International Trade Talks

During their meetings, both the US and Brazil committed themselves in helping to resolve the trade disputes impeding the progress of the international trade talks. Needless to say, both countries said that any deal would require the collective effort of the members of the global trade bloc. WTO nations believe that global free trade deals can boost the world economy, as well as their respective economy Business/International trade. However, they find it hard to make a decision at the Doha round of talks due to political factors and pressures from local industries and manufacturers. It must be noted that the WTO is also rushing with the global trade deal before the negotiating authority of US President George W. Bush ends in 2007.

American and Brazilian negotiators have already met several times in Rio de Janeiro in an effort to revive the international trade talks. US Trade Representative Susan Schwab commented that both the US and Brazil were leaders in the attempts to break the deadlock at the Doha Development Round of trade talks. According to her, the meeting between the two parties marked the start of a process, which was expected to be backed by the other members of the WTO.

The recent comments from the two countries though are important considering the role of the US and Brazil in the international trade talks. On one hand, the US is seen as impeding a potential deal regarding the reduction of agricultural subsidies. On the other hand, Brazil heads a large group of developing countries. According to the two parties, an agreement could be made within 5 to 7 months.

The Doha Development Round of trade talks was launched in 2001 at the Qatari capital. It has been aimed at tearing down trade barriers in order to promote trade liberalization and to boost the global economy, as well as the respective economies of nations particularly the poorer countries. However, after 5 years of negotiations, the International Trade talks have been suspended last week due to disputes on farm subsidies and tariffs.

Both the United States and the European Union blamed each other for the delay. On one hand, the US accused the EU of failing to equal the former’s offer during the negotiations. On the other hand, the EU blamed the US for being inflexible. Particularly, it criticized the US for refusing to further cut its agricultural subsidies. Other developing nations have also seen the US as a major factor blocking an international trade deal.

The United States and Brazil, both of which are key players of the international trade talks, said that they still hoped a deal could be made in the succeeding months. A week ago, the last of a series of attempts to revive the Doha Development Round of trade talks failed due to the unsettled trade disputes among the members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The international trade bloc was supposed to come up with an outline of a global deal last July. However, no significant progress was made due to disagreements on the cutting of farm subsidies and import tariffs.