AFP | August 22, 2008

WASHINGTON — World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy and top US trade negotiator Susan Schwab were to meet in Washington in an effort to restart the Doha Round of negotiations, a US official said.

Lamy’s visit to the US capital comes on the heels of his trip to India last week to discuss the possibility of restarting the Doha Round after the collapse of ministerial talks in Geneva over a US-India impasse on agricultural protection.

India said it would return to global trade talks if the US signals it believes the impasse can be overcome.

Brazil, Latin America’s powerhouse, has been making efforts in recent weeks to revive the WTO negotiations.

And World Bank president Robert Zoellick this week offered suggestions to break the deadlock over the proposed agricultural safeguard, saying it was critical for the world’s poor that the seven-year-old negotiations to lower trade barriers be successfully concluded.
Lamy, the WTO director general, and US Trade Representative Schwab were to have a private dinner late Thursday and hold further talks Friday morning, USTR spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel told AFP.


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