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U.S. trade chief cancels trip after ladder hits car

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Trade Representative Ron Kirk has canceled plans to attend a trade meeting this weekend in Japan after a metal ladder struck his car on a Dallas highway, his office said on Wednesday.

"Ambassador Kirk was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and released. No one was seriously injured in the accident," his office said in statement.

Kirk was driving his Mercedes sedan on a highway near Dallas when an 18-wheel truck hit a metal ladder lying in the road and sent it crashing into the windshield of Kirk's car, Sergeant Eric Hansen, a spokesman for the Grand Prairie, Texas Police Department said in a statement.

The former Dallas mayor's left arm was injured. He was taken to Methodist Dallas Medical Center for treatment.

Kirk was scheduled to attend an annual meeting of trade ministers from the 21 member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum this weekend in Sapporo, Japan.

The delegation will be led instead by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis while Kirk remains in Dallas with his family, Kirk's office said.

The meeting is expected to focus on ways to promote regional trade and to breathe life into the moribund Doha round of world trade talks, now in their eighth year.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

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