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NFTC Statement on Collapse of Doha Round Negotiations
Date: 7/29/2008
Written By: Jennifer Cummings or Eric Thomas, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Washington, DC – Following news that the Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations have reached an impasse that cannot be overcome, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today issued this statement.
“We deeply regret the news coming from Geneva today. After seven long years of negotiations, we certainly hoped that a breakthrough on negotiating modalities and a successful signaling conference on services liberalization this week would lay the groundwork for an ambitious conclusion of the Round,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch.

“In the Round, the international community had a chance to come together to reject the protectionism and isolationism that seems to be creeping slow but steady across the globe, and stand together to achieve a universal goal larger than the ambitions of each individual country,” Reinsch continued. “It is unfortunate that not all countries at the negotiating table were committed to such an outcome.”

NFTC Senior Vice President Catherine Bennett, who just returned from Geneva, said, “Just last week it seemed that there was a basis for optimism at the Ministerial gathering.  Ministers of the G-7 countries had come together to keep the talks intact and were working with Director General Lamy to advance positions with a fair balance of demands and concessions. While the U.S. Government agreed to move forward on this basis, it now seems that not all countries had the same level of commitment to the process.

“The Round appeared to be standing the test of time, but today’s news makes it clear that no matter how long the process could have gone on, its success depended on all of its participants. Unfortunately, while the spirit of cooperation and compromise had a positive effect on some, others were not moved. It is truly an opportunity lost,” Bennett concluded.