The WTO in China...what happened?
December 31, 2006 11:32pm CST
What does this mean to the world? What does this mean to the USA and China? Can anyone bring me up to speed on this issue? "HONG KONG (CNN) -- In the waning hours of the World Trade Organization talks, member states released a final draft of an agreement proposing all countries end agricultural export subsidies progressively by 2013. The timeline was one issue that was left unresolved as talks headed into the last day. The European Union had suggested 2013 as a possible date to end the subsidies, but Brazil, the United States and other countries were pushing for 2010. The draft appears to be a compromise, calling for subsidies to be progressively ceased. In addition, the final draft proposes ending all export subsidies on cotton by 2006, seen as a win for west African nations who believed the subsidies were unfair. And there is more detail on duty-free, quota-free market access for the least developed countries. Under the agreement, the access would be for 97 percent of all goods from the poorest nations by 2008. And the draft proposes an April 30, 2006, deadline for the agreement to be finished and a full draft deal formed. Sunday is the sixth and last day of the WTO's ministerial-level meetings in Hong Kong. Delegates for 149 countries have gathered, and developing countries have demanded that richer nations lower trade barriers. The talks have been marked by debate between the EU and the United States, particularly on the agricultural subsidy issue. --CNN Business Correspondent Eunice Yoon contributed to this report. (Posted 4:26 a.m.)