This is with reference to the collapse of the mini-ministerial at Geneva. A careful analysis of events will reveal that the developed countries, especially the US, are playing tricks to stall future talks. They have managed to enter markets in developing countries without providing any reciprocal advantages.

Even at the time of signing the WTO agreement, in 1994, they managed to set a time-frame that was to their advantage. During this time, the developed countries tightened their grip and introduced restrictions, including rigorous non-tariff measures that prevented developing countries access into their markets. Their domestic markets are highly protected by huge subsidies, and a range of non-compliable non-tariff barriers, among other things.

The developing world negotiators should congratulate themselves for not having yielded to pressure.

M. C. George

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 24, 2006)
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