By Tom Rachman and Dan Bilefsky, International Herald Tribune
The European Union is planning a broad shift in its trade policy that will no longer focus chiefly on foreign tariffs that drive up the price of EU products, but also seek to remove more subtle obstacles that block European businesses from getting a foothold overseas, particularly in China.
The call to end protectionism at home is likely to lead to some rumblings within Europe, but the announcement really set off alarm bells among those seeking to protect the rights of people in developing countries.
The EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson will today announce a damaging new corporate-driven trade strategy, warn European activist groups and civil society organisations united in the Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B).
US Trade Representative Susan Schwab yesterday all but ruled out the possibility that the United States will put a major new offer on the table to get the stalled World Trade Organization Doha Development Agenda trade round back on track, but expressed confidence the talks will eventually be revived.
Developing-country coalitions yesterday reiterated their view that the resumption of the suspended Doha Development Agenda negotiations can only recommence when industrialized countries spell out in specifics what they are prepared to do in trade-distorting domestic support and the market access pillars of the farm trade talks