Page last updated at 10:20 GMT, Wednesday, 26 July 2006 11:20 UK

In quotes: The Doha deadlock

WTO chief Pascal Lamy
WTO chief Pascal Lamy says talks are in suspension
The World Trade Organization decided to suspend the long-running Doha Round of world trade talks in Geneva on Monday.

The move came after the failure of fresh efforts to bridge a rift between the US and Europe over farm subsidies and tariffs.

Since then, the WTO has been at pains to deny that the talks have definitively collapsed, while the main participants have traded insults.


"[The suspension] is a bit like in basketball, a time-out during which the teams talk to their trainers before coming back on to the court.

"I hope that all the different players realise the gravity of the situation and have changed their position and tactics when they come back out to play.

"We're in a serious situation and people need to reflect on that. It would be even more serious if they didn't come back to the negotiating table.

"The rules are not just. If the negotiations fail, they will stay unjust. If we want that to change, we must resume negotiations."


"The US was unwilling to accept, or indeed to acknowledge, the flexibility being shown by others in the room and as a result felt unable to show any flexibility on the issue of farm subsidies.

"What they're saying is that for every dollar that they strip out of their trade-distorting farm subsidies, they want to be given a dollar's worth of market access in developing country markets. That is not acceptable to developing countries and it's a principle that I, on Europe's behalf, certainly couldn't sign up to either.

"The United States have been asking too much from others in exchange for doing too little themselves.

EU trade chief Peter Mandelson in Geneva
Mr Mandelson blames the US for the breakdown

"This is not my definition of leadership.

"Doha will remain a central priority of European trade policy. We will work to bring it back to life.

"As a starting point, we should extract from the rubble of the negotiation a significant development package."


"[Monday's] statement by the EU alleging that the US failed to show flexibility and attempting to divert the blame for the stalemate is false and misleading. The countries that have tended to be finger-pointing at this point are the ones that are reluctant to act in terms of market access.

"We are deeply disappointed that the EU failed to exhibit similar restraint and hope this will not jeopardise the few chances we have left to save the Doha Round.

Susan Schwab
The EU's comments are "false and misleading", the US charges

"'Doha Lite' has never been an option for the United States; it is still not an option. There was no package on the table... that we could have recommended to the President or to the United States Congress.

"We took seriously the admonition of the leaders of the G8 Summit in St Petersburg, but unfortunately the promises of flexibility and market access coming from St Petersburg did not materialise in Geneva.

Unless we figure out how to move forward from here, we will have missed a unique opportunity to help developing countries and to spur economic growth."


"There is no substitute for the WTO. There is no substitute for the multilateral trading system. For developing countries in particular, the WTO is irreplaceable.

"I do not exclude that in four, five or six months we can't start putting things in place. But it is a big risk. We all know it took 11 September to get the Doha Development Agenda going."


"The round is not dead. I would say that it is definitely between intensive care and the crematorium.

"The US brought nothing to the table. They stuck to their old position.

"Where India is concerned, we have entered into bilateral trade agreements. We will pursue our bilateral trade agreements.

"We are looking at, we are examining, economic co-operation agreements with the European Union. We are looking at co-operation agreements with Japan."


"The US refusal to move has been a fatal blow for these talks, while the self-interest displayed by the EU and US during these negotiations puts the blame for this collapse squarely at their doors. But this need not be a disaster for the world's poor - there is now an historic opportunity for much-needed reform of the WTO.

"We must now look to the future for global trade, which remains a central element in the fight against poverty. There must now be root-and-branch reform of the WTO if it is to be a force for good in the world, rather than a forum for the rich to exploit the poor."


"The lack of political will on the part of WTO members to resolve differences on agricultural subsidies and market access has put the entire round and the multilateral trading system in peril."

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