Business group frustrated by free trade talks
The International Chamber of Commerce expressed skepticism Monday about the G8 countries’ promise to work hard to conclude the Doha Round of trade negotiations by the end of the year. During the G8 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, last weekend the G8 leaders also set a mid-August deadline for agreeing on negotiating procedures on talks to reduce trade barriers for agricultural and industrial goods.
“G8 leaders have time and again committed themselves to deadlines and results for the Doha Round that were not fulfilled” during the past five years, an ICC statement said. “They have a serious credibility problem in this area and the business community will not be waving any flags until it sees solid progress in the few months left.”
The ICC said negotiators will not end their gridlock unless G8 leaders are personally engaged and show the political will to push for compromise in the name of free trade.