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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bush Says Doha Can't Be One-Sided

CAMP DAVID, Maryland -- President George W. Bush said Saturday that the United States was willing to make substantial cuts in farm subsidies to achieve a global free trade deal but those concessions could not be one-sided.

At a joint news conference at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, Bush and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva both expressed optimism that the struggling Doha round of trade talks would lead to a deal.

"I am leaving here very satisfied," said the left-leaning Lula, whose unlikely friendship with the conservative Bush has grown closer lately.

Bush acknowledged that the World Trade Organization talks started in 2001 have seen difficult negotiations recently. But he said the talks, which were suspended for six months last year, had a "good chance" of success.

Negotiators have been trying to galvanize the Doha talks, which are aimed at lifting millions out of poverty by reducing global trade barriers.

One obstacle in the Doha talks is the scheduled expiration in June of Bush's trade promotion authority.

Also known as fast track, it allows the White House to negotiate trade deals that Congress must approve or reject without making changes.

Bush signaled a willingness to offer concessions on Doha but said they would only be in exchange for greater market access.

"For the United States, we're willing to reduce our agricultural subsidies in a substantial way," Bush said. "On the other hand, we expect our goods and services -- whether they be agricultural goods or manufactured goods and services -- to be given access to markets.

"What we won't do is accept a unilateral deal," Bush added.