12 Apr 2011

New doubt over latest Doha deadline

6:03 am on 12 April 2011

A New Zealand trade representative says the latest breakdown in the Doha round of world trade talks has come when 85% of an agreement on market access for agriculture exports is completed.

The 10 year old talks again hit the rocks after disagreement between the United States and several major developing economies, including China and Brazil, over access for industrial products.

New Zealand special agricultural trade envoy Alistair Polson says negotiators had set a deadline of Easter to iron out differences.

But he says meeting that deadline looks increasingly unlikely, meaning a deal this year is in jeopardy, throwing the entire future of the talks into doubt.

Mr Polson says that will be especially frustrating for New Zealand with so much agreement among countries on access for agricultural goods already completed.

However, he says it's some consolation that bilateral and regional trade talks could eventually eliminate tariffs faced by New Zealand farm exports in countries accounting for half of global Gross Domestic Product.