Barroso confirms EU commitment to revive Doha round

  • 6 October 2011

In meetings last week with ICC Chairman Marcus Wallenberg and ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and the EC Director General for Trade, David O’Sullivan, affirmed their commitment to making progress with the Doha round and said they believed it could be restarted in 2007 with the aim of finalizing it in 2008.

Mr Barroso and Mr O’Sullivan agreed with ICC that the costs of a failed Doha round would be substantial.

Mr O’Sullivan said: “The business community needs to spell out and describe what the costs of failure will be in real terms.” If the round were to fail now, he added, it could not be restarted until 2010 or 2011, leaving a 15 year gap since the last trade round.

Mr Wallenberg and Mr Sebban traveled to Brussels as part of ICC’s ongoing efforts to build political and business support to revive the Doha round of trade talks. Earlier in the day, Mr Wallenberg addressed a conference organized by the European Centre for International Political Economy, an independent think tank dedicated to trade policy and other international economic policy issues.

Mr Wallenberg told the ECIPE gathering there was a window of opportunity between the US mid-term elections and spring 2007 to bring the Doha round to a successful conclusion.

“A failed round would represent a loss of a major opportunity to generate economic growth, create jobs and raise living standards,” Mr Wallenberg said. “World business will continue to support the multilateral trading system – for which there is no substitute.”

Mr Wallenberg was also interviewed by Bloomberg Television about the critical need to restart trade talks. The interview aired on 10 November as part of the “Money and Politics” programme.