Doha talks are salvageable, says U.S. trade rep

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MIAMI BEACH, Oct 11 (Reuters) U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said on Thursday the Doha global trade talks remain viable despite hitting a new roadblock but will succeed only with tariff compromises by big developing countries.

''It's definitely salvageable,'' Schwab said. ''It's going to take hard work, and it's going to take countries that have not been inclined to step up stepping up.'' Brazil, India, South Africa and other advanced developing countries this week called for more opt-outs from proposed cuts to tariffs on industrial goods as part of the World Trade Organization's Doha round of trade negotiations.

U.S. and European trade officials said the demands for more opt-outs threaten the multilateral Doha talks, while U.S.

manufacturing groups complained they weaken proposals they already see as inadequate.

A spokesman for Schwab on Tuesday had warned that the opt-out issue might mark the end of the sweeping Doha bargaining.

The Doha talks have run fitfully for nearly six years with much negotiation over agricultural trade. But now they are centered on trade in manufactured goods, Schwab told reporters in Miami.

She had been addressing a meeting of the Organization of Women in International Trade.

''The United States is absolutely committed to achieving a balanced and ambitious outcome. Our trading partners know that.

The president has personally talked to dozens of other leaders about the importance of the Doha round,'' Schwab said.

In Brussels, the European Union's trade chief, Peter Mandelson, said earlier on Thursday that the advanced developing countries were risking significant injury to the Doha talks with their proposed opt-outs.

Reuters SYU RS2356

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