Suspending WTO talks resolves nothing

Published: 24 July 2006

International agency Oxfam believes that today’s suspension of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha trade talks will not solve the underlying reasons why a development deal remains deadlocked and in crisis.

“These talks are going nowhere because the United States and the European Union refuse to stop dumping by cutting real money from their agricultural support, while demanding that developing countries continue to open up their markets,” said Celine Charveriat, head of Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign.

“Without a strategy to move things on, suspension only postpones the inevitable. Give them four more months, give them four more years, give them four more centuries – but unless the EU and the US make fundamental changes to their offers then these talks will fail development,” she said. “The potential for world trade to help poorer countries to develop will be lost.”

Oxfam says that the cost of further delay continues to be enormous. The EU and the US remain free to subsidize their biggest agricultural producers and continue dumping, while developing countries continue to struggle to ensure survival of subsistence farmers and break into rich Northern markets.

Oxfam fears that multilateralism will go further into crisis. “We are concerned that the EU and the US will turn to damaging regional trade agreements to break open developing country markets,” Charveriat said.

Contact Information

For further information, please contact:
Matt Grainger, Oxfam Senior Media Officer
Phone: +44(0)1865-339128
Mobile: +44(0)7730-680837