Brazil's president consulting with US, China, India over WTO

SAO PAULO - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced Saturday that he has launched consultations with the United States, China and India to salvage world trade talks that recently collapsed.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sun 3 Aug 2008, 3:40 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:48 AM

Lula said he had discussed the issue with US President George W. Bush by telephone and would speak next week with Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao during his visit for the Olympic Games and will call Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"I remain optimistic about negotiations resuming," Lula said in Sao Paulo after a meeting with unions.

"Since I plan to speak with Prime Minister Singh, President Hu Jintao, and already did so with Bush, we will see if it is possible to return to the negotiating table," he said.

The Brazilian president said a deal could be reached if differences between India and the United States can be resolved.

"It might take a month or two, but an agreement is necessary because we need to guarantee for the poorest countries access to the market of the most developed ones," Lula said.

The World Trade Organization negotations in Geneva collapsed on Tuesday following nine days of intense talks due to disagreement between India and the United States over a so-called special safeguard mechanism (SSM).

The measure is designed to protect poor farmers, allowing countries to impose a special tariff on certain agricultural goods in the event of an import surge or price fall.

Lula said negotiators had been "close to reaching an agreement, and it did not happen because of minor issues."

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