Issues May Start New WTO Talks

DOHA, Qatar?With a deadline looming, movement on two issues important to the United States raised hopes Monday that the World Trade Organization would clinch a deal allowing a new round of global trade talks to start.

Progress was reported on the text of a document that would assure poor countries that WTO rules protecting patents on pharmaceuticals developed by big drug companies in the West don’t prevent them from responding to public health crises like AIDS.

On the fourth day of a five day meeting, officials also said they moved forward on another hot-button issue for Washington: tightening anti dumping rules, which are used to block imports sold below the market price?usually because of state subsidies in the country of origin.

Trade ministers from the WTO, which sets international trade rules, have given themselves until Tuesday night to complete a final declaration and launch the new round of global trade talks.