Oxfam: key players must put development at heart of WTO talks

Published: 19 June 2007

As Ministers from Brazil, India, the US and EU begin a week-long meeting in Potsdam, Germany, to try to make progress in World Trade Organization talks, international agency Oxfam said they must strive to get a deal that boosts development.

Marita Hutjes, acting head of Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign, said: "As we go into this meeting in Germany the question is, will the main players manage to come up with something that is true to the original mandate – namely reform that promotes development?
"Poor countries badly need fairer trade rules and an end to trade distorting subsidies if they are to reduce poverty. What they don't need is a deal done at any cost, that exposes them to further dumping, and undermines future development prospects.
"The process over the last few months has not been transparent, accountable or inclusive. The danger now is that as momentum builds towards a deal, the poorest countries will be pressured into accepting a text which does not serve their development needs."


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