It has been nearly five years since World Trade Organization members began talks in the Qatari capital, Doha. World leaders have repeatedly affirmed their commitment to a deal, and repeatedly, talks have failed. Despite efforts to kick start a deal at the G8 summit in St Petersburg this July, talks collapsed this week after ministers from the EU, US, Japan, Brazil, Australia and India failed to bridge their differences over the politically-charged area of agriculture. Officials say it could be years before the talks resume. takes a look at the half decade of difficulty:

Nov 2001- Round launched in Doha, Qatar

Sep 2003- Ministerial meeting in Cancun fails as developing countries walk out

Jul 2004- Talks relaunched with ‘July framework’ in Geneva, dropping some issues

Jul 2005- G8 meeting in Gleneagles reaffirms commitment to the round. Talks stall in Geneva the same day

Sep- Pascal Lamy takes over as WTO director-general

Oct 10- US makes first offer on farm subsidies. EU responds with its own offer on tariff cuts

Dec- Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong ends with almost no progress

Jul 16 2006- G8 countries at St Petersburg say they are prepared to compromise to reach a deal

Jul 24 2006- Round collapses as the big six of the EU, US, Japan, Brazil, Australia and India cannot agree

Some winners from the Doha talks’ failure:

-Heavily subsidised American farmers, who will face no international constraint as they argue for continuing large payouts in the forthcoming farm bill

-Politicians in poor countries who can gain kudos from having protected their farmers

-Those European and American companies that prefer doing business under bilateral trade deals where their governments can more or less dictate terms

Some losers:

-Competitive exporters from countries such as Germany

-The Brazilian and Australian agribusinesses that won’t gain the export markets they were expecting

-Least-developed countries that may not get the expanded access to rich country markets they were promised

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