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US not averse to unbundling of Singapore issues

September 02, 2003 19:20 IST

The United States on Tuesday indicated that it was not averse to unbundling of new trade issues in the face of developing countries' resistance to bringing investment and competition policy into the work programme of World Trade Organisation.

"We think the appropriate way forward to begin negotiations is to go step by step...take each issue on its merit as it comes," US assistant trade representative Dorothy Dwoskin told a video conference from Washington.

The new issues which have come to be known as 'Singapore issues' are being pressed upon into the WTO negotiating table, particularly by the European Union and Japan.

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The four issues comprise trade and investment, competition policy, transparency in government procurement and trade facilitation.

It was decided at the last ministerial meeting held in Doha that negotiations on these four issues could be taken up as part of work programme only if "explicit consensus" was reached at Cancun on the modalities.

India, China and 14 other developing countries have sought from WTO General Council a host of clarifications on Singapore issues.

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