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US has will, flexibility for successful Doha Round: Bush

By Xinhua

Sydney : US President George W. Bush said here Friday that the US has both the will and the flexibility to help conclude a successful Doha Round.

“Doha represents a once-in-a-generation chance to open up markets and to help millions rise out of poverty,” Bush said in a speech to business leaders gathered at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

“The United States is committed to seizing this opportunity — and we need partners in this region to help lead the effort,” he said, noting that no single country can make Doha a success.

The Doha Round talks have come to a standstill because of differences between the US, European Union, Brazil, India and Argentina on eliminating trade barriers to agricultural produce and manufactured goods.

The WTO negotiations resumed in Geneva early this week to discuss draft texts aimed at ending the deadlock between developed and developing nations. Bush said as negotiations resume in Geneva, leaders in every country have to make tough decisions to reduce barriers to trade. “We must focus on what we have to gain, not what we could lose,” he said.

The expansion of trade creates jobs, the expansion of investment creates opportunities for people on this side of the Pacific, and it opens up new markets for American workers and farmers and entrepreneurs, said the president.

It is in the interest of the US to liberalize trade and investment at every level — globally, regionally, and with individual nations, he noted. “I believe that the best way to open up markets is through the Doha Round of trade negotiations,” he said.

APEC accounts for nearly half of the world’s trade, and its members include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the US.