* EU report touts 0.2 pct extra annual global growth from
full Doha deal
* Trade talks deadlocked since 2008 as gains predictions
* EU study sees $100 billion annual gains in cutting red
tape at borders
By Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck
BRUSSELS, Oct 31 Moribund talks for a global
accord to open up trade could boost world exports by more than
half a trillion dollars a year if they were revived and
completed, lifting global economic growth by 0.2 percent, an EU
report said on Monday.
The Doha round of global trade talks -- launched almost ten
years ago at the World Trade Organization -- has failed to
reconcile rich and emerging nations over how to tear down
long-established barriers protecting domestic farming,
industrial and services sectors.
Attempts for a scaled-back accord have also failed and
though no one has dared declare the round dead, trading nations
and business have turned their attention to bilateral treaties,
investment opportunities and the possibility of smaller
But a study commissioned by the EU's executive Commission
has found that liberalising trade in industrial goods, farm
products and services and cutting red tape at borders could add
$359 billion per year to world exports.
Exports could grow by a further $146 billion a year if
barriers guarding sensitive sectors such as chemicals, machinery
and electronics could be torn down, the report says.
Cutting red tape at border crossings - an initiative that
the WTO has said should be tackled even in the absence of a
comprehensive Doha deal - would alone account for $100 billion
in additional exports, the study says.
Estimates about the economic gains of a Doha deal have
varied from predictions of a one-time gain of $60 billion to
those expecting hundreds of billions in gains each year, with
the lower estimates eroding interest in a deal among the global
"It is simply not possible to measure with any accuracy the
results of a negotiation in which so many fundamental variables
regarding market access remain undefined," said a U.S. official,
commenting on the report.
"We have not completed analysis of the study, but are
skeptical about the assumptions on which it seems to be based."
The European Commission defended Monday's report in a
statement as being "based on new data for the world economy,
which includes the impact of the financial and economic crisis."
Estimated gains in Monday's report include tariff cuts on
industrial sectors and environmental goods such as wind and
solar energy components. Previous negotiations on such tariffs
cuts triggered fierce divisions among WTO members and are
broadly not expected to resume soon.
Reflecting gloomy expectations on trade, G20 leaders meeting
in Cannes to discuss global economic crisis this week are
expected to reiterate merely their commitment to global trading
rules and promise to resist protectionist urges accompanying the
Leaders meeting in Cannes on Nov. 3-4 are intent on sending
a reassuring message, via economic pledges, to reduce economic
imbalances; that the euro zone's debt crisis is under control,
and that any risks to the global recovery are being taken care
But concern over the small print of Europe's crisis package
and efforts to coax China into contributing funds threaten to
dominate the gathering.
(Reporting by Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck; additional
reporting by Catherine Bremer in Paris and Doug Palmer in