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Bush vows to revive Doha trade talks

"We'll continue working on it," Bush said in a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers.
None | By Reuters, Washington
PUBLISHED ON JUL 28, 2006 08:58 AM IST

US President George W Bush vowed on Thursday to try to press ahead with attempts to reach a global trade agreement, despite the collapse of the Doha round of trade talks earlier this week.

"We'll continue to work on this agreement," Bush said in a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers.

He said that US Trade Representative Susan Schwab was "committed to getting a deal done if we can" and his administration would discuss with other nations ways to break the impasse over protections for farm products.

The United States and the European Union have traded blame for the halt to the nearly five-year push for a trade deal. After last-ditch talks in Geneva failed to reach a breakthrough, World Trade Organisation chief Pascal Lamy on Monday called an across-the-board halt to the discussions.

The talks had been billed as a once-in-a-generation chance to boost growth and ease global poverty.

Washington had said that it was willing to reduce the $20 billion it spends on farm subsidies, but wanted greater access to agricultural markets in the European Union and India in return.

"Here's my definition of a good trade policy: it's fair. That's all we ask. We open up our markets, you open up ours. You treat us the way we treat you," he said.

Bush said that moving forward with Doha would boost job opportunities for American workers, while giving poor countries access to large markets.

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