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BBC misinterprets the King's English

By Aleksander Boyd

25.11.05 | Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely... I sent a note to the BBC yesterday with respect to their slanted and factually inaccurate reporting of the result of the summit in Mar del Plata. What follows is their reply...

Subject: Reply req'd
Date: 25.11.05, 13:59
To: A. Boyd

Thank you for your e-mail.

While it is true that most of the possible signatories did back the FTAA, the summit failed to break the deadlock over free trade negotiations. This was reflected in the final declaration which included two paragraphs spelling out the opposing views. And, President Bush himself acknowledged he had yet to convince Brazil - Latin America's largest economy - on the FTAA.

We hope this goes some way towards meeting your concerns. Thank you again for your e-mail and your interest in our coverage.

BBC News Website

My reply:

...the summit failed to break the deadlock over free trade negotiations.

From the Summit's final declaration:

Some member states maintain that we take into account the difficulties that the process of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations has encountered, and we recognize the significant contribution that the processes of economic integration and trade liberalization in the Americas can and should make to the achievement of the Summit objectives to create jobs to fight poverty and strengthen democratic governance. Therefore, we remain committed to the achievement of a balanced and comprehensive FTAA Agreement that aims at expanding trade flows and, at the global level, trade free from subsidies and trade-distorting practices, with concrete and substantive benefits for all, taking into account the differences in the size and the levels of development of the participating economies and the special needs and special and differential treatment of the smaller and vulnerable economies. We will actively participate to ensure a significant outcome of the Doha Round that will reflect the measures and proposals mentioned in the previous paragraph. We shall continue to promote the established practices and activities in the FTAA process that provide transparency and encourage participation of civil society.

We instruct our officials responsible for trade negotiations to resume their meetings, during 2006, to examine the difficulties in the FTAA process, in order to overcome them and advance the negotiations within the framework adopted in Miami in November 2003. We also instruct our representatives in the institutions of the Tripartite Committee to continue allocating the resources necessary to support the FTAA Administrative Secretariat.

B. Other member states maintain that the necessary conditions are not yet in place for achieving a balanced and equitable free trade agreement with effective access to markets free from subsidies and trade-distorting practices, and that takes into account the needs and sensitivities of all partners, as well as the differences in the levels of development and size of the economies.

In view of the above, we have agreed to explore both positions in light of the outcomes of the next World Trade Organization ministerial meeting. To that end, the Government of Colombia will undertake consultations with a view to a meeting of the officials responsible for trade negotiations.

Is the BBC editorial staff having problems interpreting the King's English?

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