20 Mar 2009

US, EU to seek Doha deal "as soon as possible"

9:58 am on 20 March 2009

Top US and European Union trade officials have pledged to try to reach a deal in the Doha round of world trade talks "as soon as possible."

However, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton set no deadline for resolving remaining issues.

In a joint statement issued on Thursday, they said the United States and the EU must lead by example in the global crisis by resisting protectionism and keeping trade flowing.

The meeting came during Mr Kirk's first full day on the job, after the Senate voted 92-5 on Wednesday to approve him as US trade representative. Mr Kirk and Ms Ashton also had dinner on Wednesday after the vote.

The Doha round was launched in November 2001.