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Doha Trade Talks Take a Step

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August 25, 2004

Doha Trade Talks Take a Step

In Geneva on July 31st, negotiators for the G20 group of developing nations, along with the G90 group of the world's poorest countries, reached an agreement with G8 nations for a "framework for establishing modalities in agriculture," a step in the Doha round of trade talks that had been stalled since the WTO's September 2003 meeting in Cancun.

Despite pressure from non-governmental organizations opposed to globalization, the G20, led by Brazil, negotiated an agreement with the G8 to force the world's leading nations to stop subsidizing farm exports and taxing farm imports in order to give greater access to foreign markets to developing nations.

Globalization opponents are concerned that G20 nations are giving up too much control of their own domestic economies in exchange for an increased role as suppliers of raw material. Short-term benefits, they say, do not out-weigh the disadvantages of giving up democratic controls over domestic economies. Supporters of the trade talks claim that money made by the developing economies of the G20 by farming, along with foreign investment, will pay for developing the skills of the countries' labour forces, benefiting them in the long term.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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