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Bush: Free-Trade Zone for Americas Stalled


President Bush has acknowledged plans for a comprehensive free-trade zone in the Western Hemisphere have stalled.

Mr. Bush told journalists from Argentina, Panama and Brazil Tuesday he still sees the need for the free-trade zone, but the priority now is broader global trade talks on agriculture. The president leaves Washington Thursday for a five-day visit to Latin America, starting in Argentina at the Summit of the Americas.

The proposal for a Free Trade Area for the Americas has been bogged down because of disagreements between the United States and Brazil.

In the global talks, the U.S., Brazil, India and the European Union are trying to reach a compromise on farm subsidies before a World Trade Organization summit in Hong Kong next month.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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