London, 30 June 2009 - EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton has told the British Bankers Association that the future of trade policy for the European Union and others will be more and more focused on breaking down non-tariff barriers to trade.

In a speech to the Annual Banking Conference in London, she argues that finding new opportunities for trade and resisting protectionism will be key to economic recovery and future growth.  She says that completing the Doha Round of world trade talks will be the most important boost for the world economy at this time.  However, with tariffs on many products almost eliminated between major economies, the "orange is almost squeezed dry." 

Therefore in future trade discussions will require a new approach.  She says that "the politics of trade were more straightforward when the technocrats crunched tariffs behind closed doors. But, today, building a strengthened open trade system for the 21st century is as much a political challenge as a technical one.  It requires different skills to deliver results."

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