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ポツダム会談の崩壊 

germany ドイツ・ポツダムでのG4によるWTO凍結状態を打開するための会談は、崩壊しました。

以下の英文記事は、次の四点を指摘しています。
①先進工業国の代表として合衆国とEUが、途上国の代表としてインドとブラジルが、会談に参加した。
②合衆国のシュワブ通商代表は、農業補助金を削減するというポーズを示した。しかし合衆国議会は民主党が支配し、大統領のファストトラックの権限に制限を加えているため、彼女のポーズは政治的な根拠を伴っていない。
③しかも合衆国は、インドとブラジルに対して工業製品の門戸を開放するように求めたため、両国はこれを拒否した。双方は会談の崩壊をお互いのせいにしている。
④会談の失敗は、ドーハラウンドの今後に暗雲を投げかけた。しかしこれはラウンドが死んだことを意味しない。

先進国と途上国を代表すると自称する4カ国が、勝手に会談を開き、勝手に会談を崩壊させました。ドーハラウンドが凍結状態に至るまで、密室での意志決定方式が繰り返し批判されたにもかかわらず、あいかわらず「グリーンルーム」体質が抜けないようです。
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Press Release:

June 21, 2007

Contact: Carin Smaller, in Geneva, 41-22-789-0734 or 41-78-911-0896,
csmaller@iatp.org

Ben Lilliston, in Minneapolis, 612-870-3416, ben@iatp.org


G4 Trade Talks Collapse: time to take a look inside the U.S.

Minneapolis/Geneva - Top-secret negotiations taking place in Germany between the U.S., European Union, Brazil and India, (also known as the G4) have collapsed, sparking rumors that the WTO Doha trade talks could be put on ice for a number of years. The collapse of the G4 negotiations should prompt a break in WTO Doha negotiations and a reconsideration of the impact of WTO rules, according to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

"Divisions between the four WTO members are much wider than many people think," said Carin Smaller from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, but it is the divisions inside the U.S. that deserve the most careful attention. For months, U.S. Trade Representative, Susan Schwab, has sent signals that the U.S. is ready to make a move and conclude the Doha trade talks. But Schwab's big promises do not match with the political reality inside the U.S."

The Democratic-controlled Congress has taken several actions to limit the Bush Administration's trade negotiating power in recent weeks. Congressional leaders announced that they will let "fast track" authority for the Bush Administration expire at the end of June. Any new trade agreements that now go to Congress will be subject to modifications or amendments before approval.

Earlier this week, a House Agriculture subcommittee agreed to simply extend the existing Farm Bill, which has been highly criticized at the WTO. While the Farm Bill reform process is far from complete, Congressional leaders have made it clear that WTO developments will not affect the writing of a new Farm Bill.

These developments come on the heels of a secret trade deal negotiated earlier this month between House Democratic leaders and the Bush Administration which would include international environmental and labor standards in all trade agreements.

The secret trade deal reflects a new political climate in the U.S., which has a growing skepticism about the benefits of trade deals. Many of the new Democrats in Congress were elected as fair trade critics of free trade. And President Bush's approval ratings have sunk below 30 percent.

"The current Doha package will leave most developing countries worse off and will weaken the tools available to build strong economies, increase employment and preserve the natural resource base," Smaller said. "Instead of accepting the current trajectory of trade talks, it is time to take a proper break, learn from past mistakes and completely rethink the rules of the WTO," she added.

Read IATP's take on U.S. Politics and WTO negotiations at tradeobservatory.org

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works globally to promote resilient family farms, communities and ecosystems through research and education, science and technology, and advocacy. www.iatp.org
-----------------------------------------------

G4 talks collapse, throw trade round into doubt

By Doug Palmer and Laura MacInnis Reuters
Thursday, June 21, 2007; 11:08 AM

POTSDAM, Germany
(Reuters) - Talks between trade powers to salvage global trade talks collapsed on Thursday, throwing the future of the World Trade Organisation's struggling round deeper into doubt.

Ministers from the United States and the European Union (EU),
representing rich nation interests, and Brazil and India , for the developing world, were quick to blame the other side for the failure.

Without an agreement between the four powers at their meeting in
Potsdam, diplomats and trade officials had warned that it would be difficult for the full 150-member state WTO to strike a deal as hoped by the end of July.

"Potsdam, once again, was not very successful," Brazil's Foreign
Minister Celso Amorim told a news conference. "It was useless to
continue the discussion on the basis of the numbers put on the table," he said.

The four were attempting to break a long-standing deadlock over the core issues in the near six-year round -- how far to open up agricultural and industrial markets and cut rich nation farm subsidies.

But despite the severe setback, the ministers insisted that the Doha liberalization round was not dead.

"It (the failure) places a very major question mark on the ability of the wider membership of the WTO to complete this round," EU Trade Commission Peter Mandelson told journalists. "(But) It does not in itself mean that the negotiations cannot be put back on track," he added.

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said: "We certainly have not given up on the (Doha) process but this is not a happy outcome."

WTO boss Pascal Lamy has warned that without a breakthrough in the round by August, the near six-year-old negotiations could be put on hold for several more years or even fail altogether.

Launched in the Qatari capital in late 2001, the round aims to lift millions out of poverty through more trade. But it has faced problems from the start, mainly over agriculture, which is a highly sensitive political issue almost everywhere.

ATTITUDE CHANGE

Washington has demanded that any deal that significantly cuts U.S. farm subsidies must open new export markets around the world in agriculture, manufacturing and services.

But Brazil and India said Washington was not prepared to go far enough to warrant additional concessions on their part in manufacturing goods or in lowering barriers to imports of U.S. farm goods.

"If the round is to move forward, there will have to be a substantial attitude change," said India's Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath.

But EU officials told journalists the sort of tariff cuts being offered by Brazil would not have led to any additional exports from companies from the developed world.

In a letter to Schwab and Mandelson on Wednesday, leading U.S. and European manufacturers warned they could not support an agreement that did little to open developing countries to additional exports.

Nevertheless, hopes had been running high going into the four-power talks, which began on Tuesday, after a series of meetings between senior officials had appeared to remove some obstacles.

Trade officials have said that whatever the outcome in Potsdam,
negotiators would continue to work at the WTO headquarters in Geneva to reach a deal which many see as vital to act as a bulwark against protectionism.

"We are obviously very disappointed talks have broken down. But they will now move to Geneva and there's still a chance to rescue them," a British government spokeswoman said.

(c) 2007 Reuters



WTO Talks Break Down Over Farm Aid, Jeopardizing Deal (Update5)

By Warren Giles

June 21 (Bloomberg) -- Negotiations among four key World Trade
Organization governments over a new global agreement collapsed today, with India and Brazil blaming U.S. and European unwillingness to cut farm aid and import duties on commodities.

Trade and agriculture ministers from the U.S., the European Union, India and Brazil began what was to be almost a week of talks on June 19 in Potsdam, Germany, aiming to reach a breakthrough on slashing agriculture subsidies and lowering hurdles for goods crossing borders. Even though trade chiefs insist a deal is still possible, today's collapse may spell the end of the Doha Round of talks.

``It was very clear at lunchtime and was said at lunch that it was useless to continue the discussion based on the numbers on the table,'' Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told reporters. ``The decision not to continue with the negotiation was not ours.''

The breakdown mirrors last July's collapse, when negotiations among the four government plus Japan and Australia disintegrated, prompting WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy to suspend discussions. Without a deal among the four governments, the Doha Round that began in late 2001 and has yet to meet any deadlines may fail or be put on hold for years because of elections and ensuing policy changes in the U.S. and India.

`Ball in Lamy's Court'

Once again, ``the ball will now be in the court of Pascal Lamy,'' Amorim said.

While an agreement among the four governments ``would have been helpful to pave the way toward multilateral convergence, helpful does not mean indispensable,'' Lamy said in a statement today. The EU, the U.S., India and Brazil should now try to reach an agreement along with the remaining WTO governments rather than as a smaller group, he said.

Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said the U.S. offered to cap its overall spending on trade-distorting domestic support at $17 billion. Brazil and India, as leaders of the so-called G20 alliance of farm commodity-exporting nations that also includes China and Argentina, are pushing for an annual U.S. spending limit of no more than $15 billion.

``If this is to be called a development round, we need to correct the flaws in terms of subsidies,'' Nath said. ``There is no logic or equity'' in the offer by U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab.

U.S. Offer

The Bush administration now spends $10.8 billion a year on support payments that distort market prices to American farmers, Nath said. A ceiling of $17 billion would represent ``a 50 percent increase,'' he told journalists.

Schwab has said the U.S. can cut more, but only if advanced developing nations and the EU open their markets to more U.S. farm goods.

The numbers presented by the U.S. on domestic aid exceeded those
demanded by the G20 while the EU's tariff-cut offers were deficient, Amorim said. ``Whatever the version others may try to offer, the major divergences appeared in agriculture,'' he said.

Schwab and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns questioned whether Nath and Amorim were even prepared to negotiate during the talks. The ``rigidity'' of Brazil's and India's position ``seemed quite different from the positions of the G20,'' Schwab said.

Not `an Iota'

Since the start of the Potsdam meeting, Amorim and Nath ``didn't move an iota from the point we started at two years ago,'' Johanns said. ``We stretched and it seemed to me they grabbed. I could have done cartwheels off the roof of this building and I'm still not sure I would have got a response.''

The EU, on the other hand, ``showed this week it was ready to stretch,'' Schwab said. ``The only way you get to a trade agreement is willingness to compromise.''

European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said the EU still has ``a final move left in us to reach a final, balanced equitable conclusion in agriculture,'' though he insisted that the 27-nation bloc has made offers without reciprocal efforts on the part of the other governments.

``I firmly believe we constructed a landing range in agriculture which is fair and forthcoming for developing countries and takes to the limit what the EU can do,'' he told journalists in Potsdam.

Nath said he was ``very disappointed'' about U.S. and EU calls for developing nations to reduce applied industrial tariffs. According to Mandelson, developing countries were asked to cut ``only one in two tariffs by one or two percentage points,'' a demand he described as ``not unreasonable.''

Doha Isn't Dead

Earlier this week, Mandelson said the Potsdam meeting ``cannot finish the Doha Round, but it will determine if Doha can be finished.'' Today, he said the untimely end of the talks, which were supposed to run at least until June 23, doesn't spell the trade round's demise.

``It is not the end of the Doha Round,'' he said. ``It places a very major question mark on the ability of the wider WTO membership to complete this round, but it does not in itself mean that the
negotiations cannot be put back on track.''

Amorim called today's collapse ``a setback,'' though he, like Mandelson, said WTO discussions ``are not dead.'' German Economy Minister Michael Glos also said the derailing of the Potsdam talks is ``not the end'' of the trade round.

Schwab agreed, saying the U.S. ``is not giving up on the Doha Round.'' Even if the four governments meeting in Potsdam are ``never able to reach closure, that doesn't mean the end of the round,'' she told journalists.

Still, former U.S. Trade Representative Clayton Yeutter said negotiators are now battling the clock and may simply run out of time to get a deal.


``They may have another 30 days to piece things together, but that's all,'' he said by telephone from Washington. ``It's very disappointing, because it looked like they had some momentum.''

To contact the reporter on this story: Warren Giles in Potsdam, Germany, at wgiles@bloomberg.net

June 21, 2007, 9:28AM
Trade Talks Fail Over Farm Subsidies

By BRADLEY S. KLAPPER Associated Press Writer
(c) 2007 The Associated Press

POTSDAM, Germany - Trade talks among the World Trade Organization's four most powerful members have failed because of their inability to agree on farm subsidy cuts, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said Thursday.

"It was useless to continue the discussions based on the numbers that were on the table," Amorim said at a news conference.

The talks had been described as crucial in the WTO's drive to complete a new global trade pact by the end of the year.

"It is a setback, let us not hide it," Amorim said.

The current round of global talks aims to add billions of dollars to the world economy and lift millions of people out of poverty through new trade flows. But negotiations have struggled since their inception six years ago, largely because of wrangling between rich and poor countries over eliminating barriers to agricultural trade.

The four members did not have a mandate to negotiate on behalf of the all of the WTO's 150 members, but as their positions cover the range of positions in the Geneva-based commerce body, agreement by them on some of the outstanding farm trade and manufacturing questions was seen as a key test of whether an overall trade deal could be reached.

Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath, who also talked with reporters
Thursday, blamed U.S. unwillingness to cut its farm subsidies for the collapse of the talks.

Officials with knowledge of what happened in the talks said earlier this week that the U.S. indicated it was willing to limit its farm subsidies to $17 billion. Brazil insisted on a figure somewhere below $15 billion, according to the officials.

The issue of farm tariffs is politically charged in a number of European countries, particularly France. Critics of the subsidies say they unfairly deflate international prices, making it impossible for poorer nations to develop their economies by selling their agricultural produce abroad.

On Wednesday, officials said that the EU showed flexibility on the sensitive topic of farm tariffs, but that India held firm in defending its agricultural sector from foreign competition.

The EU denied that it had shifted its position in the talks.

Brazil and India also presented positions on easing access to their industrial markets that were still far away from U.S. and EU demands, according to officials present in the meetings Wednesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations and restrictions imposed on talking to the media.

Washington has demanded that Brussels and major developing countries provide greater market access for American farm exports in exchange for the subsidy cuts.

An official present at the talks Wednesday said the EU indicated its willingness to cut tariffs on its most protected farm products by 70 percent _ or 10 percentage points higher than in its official agriculture proposal from October 2005. Those deemed especially sensitive by the EU _ possibly including dairy, beef or poultry products_ would only be required to make one-third of that cut, or 23.3 percent, the official said.

The offer would still fall short of what the U.S. has previously
demanded.

While the EU showed some flexibility, India took a tougher stance on the farm products it believes should be spared from foreign competition under an accord, according to an official at the meeting.

India insisted that 20 percent of its farm tariffs face no or only minimal cuts, the official said. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has previously said such an outcome would shield up to 95 percent of what India imports from cuts.

Another official present at the meeting denied that any specific figures were cited in the discussion of India's "special products."
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