June 20, 2006

Brazil sees doubts about WTO farm deal in June

GENEVA (Reuters) - Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim
said on Tuesday that there were "lots of doubts" that the WTO
could this month strike an urgently needed deal on farm trade
to help clear the way to a full free trade treaty.

The United States would have to come up with a "more
courageous move" on cutting farm subsidies when ministers met
at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on June 29 to try and
achieve the end-month goal for a pact in agricultural and
industrial goods, he said.

"I think there are lots of doubts," Amorim told journalists
when asked about the chances of success at the ministerial
meeting called by WTO director-general Pascal Lamy in the hope
of breaking a long-standing deadlock in WTO trade talks.

Without a blueprint soon in farm and industrial goods, two
of the most controversial areas of the WTO's Doha round of free
trade negotiations, diplomats say that there will be little
chance of the trade round being completed in 2006.

And that could kill off the round completely because
special U.S. presidential powers to negotiate trade pacts
expire next year and are not expected to be renewed by

Amorim said that the European Union (EU) would also have to
confirm its willingness to do more to open up its markets to
imports of farm goods.

But he made little secret of the fact he thought the
Americans would have to make the biggest move.

"I would like to see the EU confirm, and do a little more
(on imports), and the U.S. to move substantially on domestic
support," he said, using the WTO term for farm subsidies.