G7 calls WTO deal ‘imperative’

WASHINGTON, April 13, 2007 (AFP) – The world’s seven richest nations said Friday a WTO deal to tear down global trade barriers was “imperative,” following a measure of progress achieved by leading players at talks in India.

“We believe that a successful conclusion of the Doha Development round is imperative,” Group of Seven finance ministers said in a statement, referring to the World Trade Organization’s stalled effort to liberalize commerce.

“We are committed to resisting protectionist sentiment. Substantially lowering tariffs and other barriers is essential to spur new growth in global trade and reduce poverty,” the G7 ministers said after their latest talks.

“We welcome recent steps to intensify engagement, recognizing that substantive movement towards a comprehensive final outcome requires all parties to make additional efforts.”

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson urged fellow finance ministers “to encourage their trade ministers to achieve an ambitious (Doha) deal because of the round’s potential to stimulate growth and economic development.”

The European Union’s economic and monetary affairs commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, said after the G7 talks: “The possible failure of the Doha round is an