President Barrack Obama needs to asset more leadership on global trade issues and stop "dumbing down" terms under debate in the stalled Doha round of world trade talks, says World Bank President Robert Zoellick.
The Doha round of talks aims to cut global trade barriers, although many of the world's larger economies have been unable agree on scrapping farming subsidies.
"The whole discussion has become very defeatist," Zoellick says, according to The Washington Post.
"I draw out the U.S. because the U.S. should still be the world leader."
|President Barack Obama
(Getty Images photo)
The Obama administration’s unwillingness to cut farm and ethanol subsidies make no sense when the United States is looking to cut public spending, Zoellick says.
"It's a missed opportunity for a pro-growth strategy at a time when the U.S. — and the world — could use one."
Zoellick, a former United States Trade Representative, is due to step down as head of the World Bank, a multilateral lending institution traditionally run by an American.
The U.S. government has said that it will study the economic effects of cutting all tariffs and quotas on goods from the world's least-developed countries.
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Plus an Australian official is urging global leaders to consider a watered down proposal on the grounds that anything is better than nothing.
"We would like to see more creative suggestions on ways to conclude the Doha negotiations, rather than reasons why it can't be done," says Cathy Raper, Minister-Counsellor for Trade at Australia's Embassy in Washington, according to Reuters.
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