Leuthard criticises WTO exclusion

Economics Minister Doris Leuthard has expressed displeasure at the exclusion of Switzerland and other countries from World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations.

This content was published on July 25, 2008 - 11:00

WTO talks continued in Geneva on Thursday and focused on tariff reductions, but included only seven major parties: the United States, the European Union, India, Brazil, Japan, Australia, and China.

Leuthard aimed her criticism at WTO Director General Pascal Lamy and criticised the composition of the group, which did not include countries that like Switzerland were net importers of food.

With Switzerland suddenly in the waiting room, the economics minister said she was concerned that the country would no longer be able to protect its interests.

Leuthard was joined in her appeal to reopen the talks by countries including Indonesia, Turkey, Argentina and Egypt.

Lamy said the measure was only temporary, and that the talks would continue with the 153 WTO member states. "Agreement between the seven most important countries is not sufficient in itself, but is necessary for a breakthrough," he said.

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