By Matt Moffett and John D. McKinnon, The Wall Street Journal
A failed summit of leaders of the Western Hemisphere dealt a blow to global trade liberalization and strengthened the influence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a critic of the U.S. who favors protectionism and old-style socialism.
The statement has been signed by 35 groups from over 30 countries representing development, environment, gender, fair trade and religious groups as well as farmers, trade union related groups and research groups.
A meeting of world trade ministers to hammer out a new global pact is in jeopardy unless Europe offers big cuts to its farm tariffs, the United States warned on Monday, and the EU itself admitted talks were on a 'knife-edge.'
Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organization, warned in two separate speeches in Hong Kong Sunday that the meeting in the city in mid-December would be the critical make-or-break few days for the future of world trade.
Protesters swarmed WTO director- general Pascal Lamy's car outside Hong Kong University Sunday in what could be a sign of things to come between anti-globalization protesters and free-trade proponents.