Chinese ambassador: U.S. finger pointing dangerous for Doha Round

2008-07-28 13:30:17 GMT       2008-07-28 21:30:17 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

GENEVA, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The United States should show its flexibilities instead of putting threats on developing countries to avoid a failure of the Doha Round trade negotiations, the Chinese ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Monday.

"They have to remember that this is a Development Round. If they cover all their sensitivities for themselves, and keeping on putting threats on developing countries, I think we are going nowhere," said Sun Zhenyu at a meeting of WTO heads of delegations.

Sun was responding to U.S. accusations that the positions of China and other emerging economies like India "have thrown the entire Doha Round into the gravest jeopardy."

"We have tried very hard to contribute to the success of the Round. It is a little bit surprised that at this time the U.S. started this finger pointing," Sun said.

Trade and agricultural ministers from 35 major WTO members have been negotiating in Geneva since July 21, trying to make a breakthrough in agriculture and NAMA (non-agricultural market access), the two key areas that have blocked the Doha Round from substantial progress in nearly seven years.

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said ministers have made significant progress in the past week and a lot of convergence has emerged.

But quite a few sensitive and crucial issues remain to be resolved, among them U.S. cotton subsidies, SSM (special safeguard mechanism) for developing countries and the creation of new tariff rate quotas.

The mini-ministerial meeting was originally due to end on Saturday, but it has been postoned until at least Tuesday or Wednesday, due to remaining sharp differences.

If no breakthrough was made at the ministerial meeting, the seven-year-long Doha Round may face failure, analysts say.

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