OMC 1La nomination de Robert Zoellick par la Maison Blanche comme président de l'OMC (Organisation mondiale du Commerce) est controversée pour plusieurs raisons. En autre, il est important de se rappeler que Zoellick était un acteur-clé américain dans la poursuite des États-Unis (avec l'aide du Canada) à l'OMC pour forcer l'Europe à accepter les OGM. L'OMC est l'arme des États-Unis contre la biosécurité. La nomination de Zoellick rend plus lumpide cette réalité.

Zoellick's trade experience prepared him for World Bank job, former rivals say

The Associated Press Wednesday, May 30, 2007

GENEVA: Former U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, the Bush administration's choice to head the World Bank, impressed both allies and opponents of U.S. commercial policy with his attention to detail and commitment to the development of poorer countries v¢‚Ǩ‚Äù attributes that they said should serve him well in his new job.

Zoellick, 53, the United States' top trade negotiator from 2001 to 2005, was selected on Wednesday by U.S. President George W. Bush to be next president of the world's top development bank.

A veteran of high-profile trade disputes, Zoellick's hard-nosed negotiating skills helped forge crucial agreements at the Geneva-based World Trade Organization to integrate China into the global trading system and start the current round of free trade talks.

His manner was often dominating v¢‚Ǩ‚Äù if not bullying v¢‚Ǩ‚Äù former and present trade officials said in interviews with The Associated Press, but they added that he was usually the only negotiator in the room who understood the position of every country.

"He was someone who as the U.S. trade representative would negotiate from a position of strength. I think we often disagreed, but that was part of our business," said Luiz Felipe de Seixas Correa, the Brazilian ambassador who led his country's successful WTO challenge of the U.S. cotton subsidy program. "I can say he's superbly qualified for the World Bank job. There's no doubt about that."

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy v¢‚Ǩ‚Äù who as the EU's trade chief went head-to-head with Zoellick in trans-Atlantic rifts over steel, government aid to plane makers Boeing Co. and Airbus, and hormone-treated beef v¢‚Ǩ‚Äù praised his "ability as a strategist, as one who can broker compromise and as one who has profound interests in the concerns of developing countries."

Jayen Cuttaree, a former Mauritian foreign minister prominent in trade circles, said Zoellick always sought to bring "poorer countries into the mainstream of economic discussions," even when he sometimes defended U.S. policies that hampered developing economies.

"During all the negotiations on the Doha round I was impressed by his commitment to development in African countries," Cuttaree said.

The major blemish on Zoellick's record came at a WTO ministerial conference in Mexico in 2003, when negotiations collapsed amid bickering between rich and poor nations. The U.S., along with the EU, has been criticized for demanding significant concessions from poorer countries while refusing to make cuts in the billions of dollars (euros) in subsidies paid to American farmers. Critics say the subsidies allow the U.S. to export farm goods at deflated prices, preventing poorer nations from developing their economies. The talks are still lagging on, over two years past their originally scheduled completion date.

Zoellick also was frustrated by Brazil's negotiating posture on the proposed 34-nation Free Trade Area of the Americas, before Brazil and Mercosur put the idea on ice completely.

The South American country gave only muted official reactions to his nomination. "The Brazilian government has acknowledged the decision," a spokeswoman said.

Zoellick was more successful in forging separate free trade deals between the U.S. and Singapore, Chile, Australia and Morocco. Officials from Chile and Peru praised his selection.

Officials from some powerful World Bank countries declined to comment immediately, but those who spoke indicated that Zoellick will receive a much warmer reception than Paul Wolfowitz received two years ago after working in the Defense Department, where he helped plan the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Zoellick, known for pulling facts and figures off the top of his head, was considered a favorite to succeed James Wolfensohn as the bank's director when Bush nominated Wolfowitz.

Norway's aid minister Erik Solheim said Zoellick was a good candidate, but criticized the selection process for ensuring that an American wins the post.

By tradition, the World Bank has been run by an American, while the International Monetary Fund is led by a European.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner welcomed Zoellick's appointment, which will have to be approved by the World Bank's 24-member board. "I hope that Mr. Zoellick will re-establish v¢‚Ǩ‚Äù or establish v¢‚Ǩ‚Äù confidence," he said before a meeting of Group of Eight foreign ministers in Germany.

Some health and environment groups, however, said they remained deeply skeptical of Zoellick heading the World Bank.

"Once again Bush has put loyalty ahead of merit," said Daniel Mittler, policy adviser at Greenpeace International, which has yet to forgive Zoellick for his role in the U.S. legal challenge to European restrictions on biotech crops and foods.

Asia Russell, director of international policy for the organization Health GAP, said, "It's impossible to imagine the same Zoellick who carried water" for the large pharmaceutical companies "being the kind of advocate African ministers of health need in order to expand their investments in salaries for doctors and nurses."