China and India Draw U.S. Ire

GENEVA -- The United States slammed China and India on Monday, saying they were threatening seven years of work on a new global commerce pact and using some of the strongest language yet at a crucial set of talks at the World Trade Organization.

David Shark, a U.S. trade official, criticized India for rejecting the package laid out by WTO chief Pascal Lamy and China for backing out of terms it committed to last week.

The trade body is hoping for agreement this week on a deal that would lower tariffs and subsidies on agriculture and manufactured goods, setting the stage for an overall trade accord by the end of the year.

Shark said the two emerging powers are insisting on allowances to raise farm tariffs above even their current levels. That violates the spirit of the trade round, the United States and other agricultural exporters argue, because it is supposed to help poorer countries develop their economies by boosting their exports of farm produce.

The developing countries, have sought steeper cuts in rich-world farm subsidies, which they blame for distorting global commodities prices and hindering Third World development.

The United States and the European Union have demanded new market opportunities for their industrial goods and service providers in exchange.

Cuba, Haiti, and Venezuela and are among over 30 WTO countries allied with India and China .