Paris, May 4, 2011
I want to thank you for your extremely pertinent question. And because it’s pertinent and important, I want to correct something.
President Sarkozy was unable to commit to a WTO agreement in April. This agreement is the result of 10 years of negotiations between 190 countries.
In November last year, in Seoul, the G20 heads of State asked for the negotiations to be speeded up. That’s what we’ve done.
I can assure you that France is very committed to these negotiations; we’re working very hard on them. Just recently, Pascal Lamy was in Paris. President Sarkozy and I had meetings with him. I was in contact with Karel de Gucht. I’ve seen our Brazilian counterparts, and yesterday I had a meeting in Washington with my American counterpart.
If the Doha Round fails, it will be a failure for the WTO. We all need a world trade organization and rules, particularly when it comes to a breakdown [of talks] in the event of disputes. Moreover, it’s the poorest countries which would lose the most.
Pascal Lamy proposed a final, month-long approach based on a European initiative. We’re doing this, but not under just any conditions. In this respect, France doesn’t agree to the European Union making additional concessions vis-à-vis a possible China-US agreement as regards customs duties on industrial goods. I reiterated these red lines to Karel de Gucht: there will be no [EU] concessions on agriculture in the framework of a WTO agreement./.