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Agricultural News

Trade Representative Kirk Says Trade Progress in Talks is Positive

Tue, 03 Aug 2010 17:11:31 CDT

The top trade official for the Obama Administration believes real progress is possible in the Doha Round of world trade talks by the end of this year. Ambassador Ron Kirk - U.S. Trade Representative - says political changes should help the talks speed up. But Kirk says Brazil, China, India and other large developing countries need to do more to open their markets to U.S. farm and manufactured goods.

WTO talks have now been going on for nine years and were started to create trade in developing countries. The negotiations have struggled over the amount countries like the U.S. should cut their farm subsidies and tariffs in order to create market access in large developing countries.

Each year there is a forum on U.S. trade with Africa - and the U.S. has a trade program called the African Growth and Opportunity Act - which allows countries in sub-Saharan Africa to export over 64-hundred varieties of products to the U.S. without paying duties. Kirk believes the act will be renewed by Congress before it expires in 2015 - but finds it unlikely to become permanent. Kirk says the best way to increase African trade is to complete the Doha round. He says if Doha can get done right - with an ambitious and balanced outcome encompassing more than just ag - many of the sub-Saharan African countries could benefit greatly.


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