CAFOD accuses the EU and US of stalling trade talks

 CAFOD has accused the EU and US of stalling global trade talks in their bid to push through a deal that will make developing countries worse off. Six of the world's economic powers held exclusive trade talks in London at the weekend but failed to make the breakthrough needed if the Doha 'Development' Round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks are to be completed by the April deadline. Head of Policy George Gelber said: "The EU and the US know that the future of these trade talks depends on agriculture and their willingness to reduce the support and protection they give to their own farmers and exporters. Despite this they have hardly moved and are pressuring developing countries to open their markets. "The poorest countries who most need a deal that can kick-start development are nowhere to be seen. And without a deal that can end the pro-rich bias in world trade, they might even find themselves worse off." For a trade deal to work for the poor, CAFOD says rich countries must make the first move on reforming their damaging agricultural policies, whilst at the same time fully taking into account the concerns of developing countries and their need to give the poorest in society the means to support themselves. Meanwhile, CAFOD campaigners took to the streets at the weekend to protest against the 'secret' trade talks. The exclusive meeting was chaired by the EU and attended by the USA, Australia and Japan. The only two developing countries represented were India and Brazil. Gelber said: "It's unbelievable that after all the attention on Africa last year, those rich countries normally so keen to promote their so called 'development' credentials have now ignored the continent entirely. With no presence at the table, Africa, and the vast majority of developing countries, has no say in its outcomes." CAFOD campaigner Genevieve Walsh from Southwark diocese stood in the freezing rain outside the meeting place in protest at Africa being left out of the talks. Genevieve said: "I'm here to remind them we're still watching them. I want them to turn their vague promises on development into reality."

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