Developing nations went on the offensive on Thursday as trade talks limped into their third day, with Washington and Tokyo under pressure to accept a duty-free, quota-free exports deal for the world's poorest countries.
Benin's ambassador to the WTO Samuel Amehou and representatives of West African cotton producers today (Dec. 14) warned that their countries will refuse to support any agreement struck in Hong Kong if developed countries do not agree to cut their cotton subsidies.
World trade ministers launched a fresh bid to salvage free trade negotiations amid little hope for major headway, as thousands of protesters marched in the streets to denounce the WTO as an enemy of the poor.
One day into the ministerial meeting, the European Union remained at odds with the United States, Canada and Japan over the scope and implementation of an initiative to provide duty-free quota-free access to least developed countries (LDCs).
US and EU want sectoral /plurilateral negotiations in Services to be launched after the Hong Kong Ministerial. The language in the draft text that will facilitate such negotiations are para. 21 and Annex C
The United States warned trading partners on Wednesday that the world would slip back into protectionism without progress in global talks to reform world commerce, stunting economic growth and hitting the poor.