TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (June 07/24)
27 June 2007
Foreign Minister Celso Amorim gave a press conference in
Below is a report of his press conference.
"The G4 as such is dead", says Amorim
Published in SUNS #6278 dated 25 June 2007
Kanaga Raja (SUNS)
"The G4 as such is dead and we'll see what we can do in the multilateral level (in Geneva) and in other formats," declared Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim Friday, following the collapse the day before of a crucial meeting between the United States, the European Union, Brazil, and India in Potsdam, Germany.
Brazilian Minister was speaking to the media in
his meeting with Lamy, Amorim said that he expressed his disappointment
with the result in
to the collapse of the
a separate media briefing later in the day, US Trade Representative
Susan Schwab said that the
his media briefing, Amorim was asked as to whether there will be another
meeting in the G4 or even G6 (G4 plus
He said that he did not think that it was the most productive format in the short run, adding that some sort of small format might be useful, because it is impossible to discuss all the subjects around the 150 members of the WTO at the same time.
He also did not think that the G6 "would do the job either. Actually, the G6 would be more tilted against developing countries."
you have to go to another format, it will certainly have to include
other countries such as
as to whether
Asked as to the situation in the coming months, the Brazilian Minister said that it was "very much in the hands of the Director-General", and pointed to combining a multilateral process with the Chairmans' text and possibly some Green Room meetings.
Referring to the talks in Potsdam, Amorim said that Brazil has always felt, and this was true for India as well, that they were there not only to represent their interests, but also those of the G20, and to some extent, if not representing, trying to express the views and perceptions of developing countries.
While Amorim said that he did not think that the Doha Round was dead, it was a setback. "It was a setback... now it is for the membership as a whole to see how it can deal with that setback."
As to criticism about the G4 trying to make a deal on the back of the membership, Amorim stressed that has never been the case.
might not be impossible for
He said that both he and Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath were thinking of the G20 and G33 in the meeting. They were not only thinking of products of interest to them but also products of interest to their colleagues.
response to another question on not being able to reach agreement in
They (the US and EU) have already found their basic level of comfort and they have already established among themselves what was the "exchange rate" from their point of view that they wanted from Brazil and India in NAMA and Special Products, he said.
"As usual, as it has always been, what they agreed they consider is the agreement."
He said that what was on the table was very little, both in terms of overall trade distorting support, tariff caps and also in the area of market access.
was also a repetition (presumably by the EU and the
expressed hope that the round could be completed by the end of the year,
saying that a lot will depend on the ambassadors here in
Asked his reaction about the EU and the US blaming India and Brazil for the Potsdam failure, Amorim said that he was not worried at all that the US and the EU blamed him. He said that he would be very worried if the G20 members were to say that he betrayed them or did not represent their views, or if the Brazilian industry were to say the same.
to media reports, the
really don't worry at all that the
Asked as to why there was no joint G4 statement at the end of the meeting, Amorim said that while there was a proposal for a joint statement, both he and Indian Minister Nath thought that it was not correct, and would be a misrepresentation of the facts to give the impression that the G4 are agreed.
since both his and Nath's visions were identical in the basics, they
decided to do a press conference together in
A joint communique would be a joint communique on procedures only to just give an impression that did not correspond to the facts, added Amorim.
a separate media briefing, USTR Susan Schwab, who was also joined by
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, said that the
said that the
"We have been making progress... getting some traction," she said, adding that "it was almost as though two legs of this four-legged stool showed up unwilling to deal, unwilling to negotiate, with extreme rigidities.. with red-lines about everything."
"You can't reach an agreement if one side of the equation is saying 'I won't deal', or is saying 'take it or leave it'. It really was take it or leave it," Schwab said.