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WTO head Pascal Lamy (file photo) (epa) July 24, 2006 -- Global free-trade talks at the World Trade Organization (WTO) collapsed today in Geneva after major trading powers failed to agree on slashing farm subsidies and lowering agricultural tariffs.

Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath said it could take "anywhere from months to years" to restart the negotiations. Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim called it a "major setback."

The EU's trade chief, Peter Mandelson, blamed the failure on the United States, saying Washington was "unwilling to accept" the flexibility shown by others.

But Washington said the fault lay with the EU and other WTO members who had not done enough to lower farm tariff barriers.

The meeting had been called by WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy with ministers from Australia, Brazil, the 25-nation European Union, India, Japan, and the United States to try to reenergize the talks.

This group, known as the G6, accounts for some three-quarters of world trade.

(Reuters, AFP, AP)
WTO Status Of RFE/RL Broadcast Countries

An exhibition of the history of the WTO in Singapore in 1996 (courtesy photo)

WTO Members:
Armenia: Joined on 5 February 2003.
Croatia: Joined on 30 November 2000.
Georgia: Joined on 14 June 2000.
Kyrgyzstan: Joined on 20 December 1998.
Macedonia: Joined on 4 April 2003.
Moldova: Joined on 26 July 2001.
Romania: Joined on 1 January 1995.

Countries That Are Not Yet WTO Members:
Afghanistan: Submitted its application in November 2004.
Azerbaijan: Submitted its application in June 1997.
Bosnia-Herezgovina: Submitted its application in May 1999.
Belarus: Submitted its application in September 1993.
Iran: Submitted its application in July 1996.
Iraq: Submitted its application in September 2004.
Kazakhstan: Submitted its application in January 1996.
Russia: Submitted its application in June 1993.
Serbia and Montenegro: Submitted separate applications in December 2004.
Tajikistan: Submitted its application in May 2001.
Ukraine: Submitted its application in November 1993.
Uzbekistan: Submitted its application in December 1994.

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For an exclusive RFE/RL interview with former WTO head MICHAEL MOORE,click here.