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India most open to talks on Doha round: Kirk

By Lalit K Jha in Washington
August 05, 2010 12:47 IST

India is most open to dialogue on the Doha round and trade negotiations amongĀ  all major emerging markets, a top Obama Administration official has told the US lawmakers.

"We've had a number of bilateral meetings with each of those partners (India, China, Brazil and Russia). India, at least, has been the most open to dialogue with us," the US Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, said in response to a question at a Congressional hearing on Wednesday.

"China has been wonderfully Chinese. I will leave it at that. But we continued to believe that now that we're beyond the elections in Japan and hopefully with Brazil, that if we can sit down and do the tough negotiations that have to be made, we might," he said.

Responding to questions on the Doha round, Kirk said: "We have moved them to understand that they had to supplement our negotiations in Geneva with these bilateral discussions, frankly, trying to get Russia, Brazil, India and China.

And I want to make it careful, when I was asked about my outlook, I don't know that I'd say I'm overly encouraged."
Kirk said he is less discouraged than he was before. "I would say that our efforts have led to an acknowledgment that there needs to be more on the table ... " Kirk said.

Earlier in his prepared testimony, Kirk said emerging markets like India, China and Brazil need to make contribution commensurate with their position in the global economy.

"Globally, US Trade Representative remains committed to a balanced and ambitious Doha round. Success will depend particularly on engagement by emerging markets such as China, Brazil, and India, which must make contributions commensurate with their position in the global economy," he said.

Kirk said among his most pressing concerns on agricultural non-tariff measures are Chinese and Indian certification requirements for US dairy exports, and unjustified barriers on beef, pork, and poultry products in China, Japan, Taiwan, and elsewhere.

"The Obama Administration is committed to trade policies that keep American farmers and ranchers supplying high quality food and fiber around the world," Kirk said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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