WASHINGTON – The World Trade Organization’s Doha talks, started five years ago in an effort to increase global commerce and help lift the poorest nations out of poverty, have broken down.

The failure to reach a deal is likely to delay any further negotiations months, or even years.

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said the breakdown of the talks, which had the potential to lower tariffs on apparel and textiles and open foreign markets to retailers, was a “serious failure.”

The negotiations have been deadlocked for months over U.S. farm subsidies, agricultural tariffs in Europe and access to the industrial markets in other countries.

Schwab said a U.S. trade delegation went to Geneva this past weekend ready to sweeten its proposal on agricultural issues, but did not see reciprocal movement from other countries.

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s issue of WWD.

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