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APEC Urges Flexibility During WTO Talks

  • VOA News

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Portman says next month's World Trade Organization meetings in Hong Kong are a make-or-break opportunity for global trade negotiations.

Mr. Portman spoke on Wednesday in Busan, South Korea, where leaders of Asian and Pacific nations are meeting for a summit this week.

Trade and foreign ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum have agreed on what they call a "bold" statement to push the global free trade agenda forward.

Their declaration calls on WTO members to reach a consensus on agriculture subsidies, which have been the main stumbling block in negotiations.

The APEC ministers' statement also calls for new measures against terrorism and corruption, as well as an initiative to fight bird flu. It will be handed over to APEC leaders for their annual summit beginning Friday.

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