World Trade Organization director general Pascal Lamy on Wednesday put forward his own proposals in closed-door talks with trade ministers from seven trading powers on how to lower barriers to trade in agriculture and industrial tariffs, in a bid to break the deadlock and avert another collapse of the Doha Round of trade talks. Lamy took the step after talks under his chairmanship between the U.S., the European Union, India, Brazil, China, Japan and Australia failed to trigger the expected counteroffers to a U.S. proposal on Tuesday to cap its farm subsidies at $15 billion. The ministers were meeting into the night to discuss Lamy’s proposals. Lamy in the past has declined to resort to this sort of tactic, which he has called “the nuclear option.”�
This story first appeared in the July 24, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.