GENEVA — The new U.S. ambassador to the World Trade Organization, Michael Punke, on Monday called on the world’s biggest emerging economies — China, India and Brazil — to show leadership in the troubled Doha Round of global trade talks.
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But the envoy, in his first press briefing, warned if those countries did not step up to the plate there would be no successful outcome.
Punke, who is also deputy U.S. Trade Representative, said there was “some frustration” with the talks among U.S. business leaders and on Capitol Hill. But he said “there is strong support across the spectrum” for an ambitious market-opening Doha outcome.
Punke said for key sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and services, the priority markets will be in advanced emerging economies over the next 20 years.
China, India and Brazil, he said, have been “major beneficiaries” in the global economy and have a major responsibility and need to open their markets, as well.
“We all want to sell to them,” he said.
But Punke indicated some of the major emerging powers are not prepared to move. “I don’t think some of my counterparts have full authority to negotiate,” he said.
The talks, launched in 2001 in Doha, Qatar, collapsed in July 2008 over differences between the major rich and emerging nations over cuts in subsidies and tariffs for agriculture and industrial goods.
On cotton, Punke said the U.S. would be open to negotiations in the agricultural segment of the Doha talks when parameters become clearer in areas such as export subsidies and market access, and said Washington wants to see more access from China on this commodity.