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US Pleased With WTO Hong Kong Accord


The United States is praising the draft agreement reached in the World Trade Organization talks in Hong Kong. Under the accord, richer nations will be bound to remove all farm export subsidies by the year 2013.

U.S. officials say real progress has been made toward implementing a plan to alleviate world poverty through free trade.

Deputy Trade Representative Susan Schwab says much work remains to be done on trade liberalization, but she said the agreement's deadline on export subsidies is a big step toward greater global trade cooperation.

"This week reflected unprecedented cooperation between developed and developing countries, [and] among developing countries," she said. "We are not talking about major blocs looking to divide. We saw a lot of blocs coming together and working together across lines."

The United States also concluded negotiations with cotton producing-nations of West Africa and pledges to eliminate export subsidies on cotton in 2006, a key demand of African nations.

Under the plan, the United States and other rich nations will allow greater market access to goods produced by the world's poorest countries.

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