Obama in global trade talks to sway India, China?

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 09, 2013 05:10 hrs

Washington, March 9 (IANS) President Barack Obama has initiated a global round of trade talks encompassing Europe and potentially much of Asia, but with a potential to influence major economies, notably China, India and Brazil, according to a media report.

"If the effort pays off, it could boost some of America's most competitive and important companies," the Washington Post reported. "Finance and consulting firms would be able to move more deeply into Europe, Japan and some developing countries."

"To the Obama administration, it's the logical response to sluggish job growth, the failure of the Doha round of global trade talks and the fear that trade restrictions incubated in places such as China and India could become the global norm unless countered," the influential US daily said.

"Going through this crisis and recovery has pushed us all to focus on what it is we can do to create jobs and growth in every area of policy," it cited Mike Froman, deputy national security adviser for international economics as saying.

"If we are able to execute on this, it will be the most ambitious trade agenda in a very long time," he added.

The discussions include the 11-nation Transpacific Partnership, a potentially sweeping agreement that would tie the United States more closely to North American neighbours Canada and Mexico and open new relations with growing Asian economies such as Vietnam. South Korea and Japan, the world's third-largest economy, may join as well, the Post reported.

Other negotiations include the recently announced Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union, a pact US and European officials say would create the world's largest economic zone.

The United States also has joined 47 other nations in talks on an agreement to liberalise the services sector, the daily said describing it as a significant issue for US companies that feel they have an advantage in areas such as consulting, energy management and insurance.

Other talks aim to expand an existing agreement on trade in technology goods and to lower the time and expense it takes to send intermediate goods across national borders to a final assembly point, the Post said.

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