CONTINUEThis site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.
  1. Front Page
  2. News By Topic
  3. EU's WTO Farm Subsidy Offer Meets Poor Reception Worldwide

EU's WTO Farm Subsidy Offer Meets Poor Reception Worldwide

by Jeremy Hetherington-Gore,, London

20 December 2002

Earlier this week the European Union proposed a package of measures to free up access to its farming markets for third world countries, in preparation for the beginning of discussions next year on agriculture during the WTO's Doha round, but the US gave the plan a cool reception, pointing out that the reality behind the hype was that the EU was proposing a 6-year transition period beginning only in 2006.

The plan would cut agricultural export subsidies by 45%, domestic farm support by 55% and customs tariffs by 36%. EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said: "This is a win-win proposal. It is fair to others, particularly developing countries, as it takes into account their development needs. Better food at lower prices is also good news for consumers around the world. I call upon other developed countries to match this level of ambition, to the benefit of all."

Spokesman for the US Trade Representative, Richard Mills, said. "The EC's proposal, while welcome, does not embrace fundamental reform in world agricultural trade. We need to cut subsidies substantially and move away from distorting production. We need to slash tariffs. Without aggressive agriculture reform, Doha will be paralyzed." The US had made its own market-opening proposals in July, trying to reverse the damage done by the President's earlier domestic agricultural support package, by announcing that a push to cut world-wide agricultural tariffs to 25% or less, from an average of 62% now, and to end export subsidies for farm products in five years.

Oxfam and other bodies also criticised the proposals: "It is absurd that farmers in the world's poorest countries should have to wait until 2013 for the EU to halve export subsidies," said Justin Forsyth, Oxfam's policy director.

The sad reality is that it is easy for the EU to make promises which look good on paper, but just one week ago it invited ten new countries to take their places at the CAP feeding trough, removing further hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of agricultural production from the market and massively extending its already odious grip over third world food supplies.

To see today's news, click here.


Tax-News Reviews

Cyprus Review

A review and forecast of Cyprus's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Cyprus Review »

Malta Review

A review and forecast of Malta's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Malta Review »

Jersey Review

A review and forecast of Jersey's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Jersey Review »

Budget Review

A review of the latest budget news and government financial statements from around the world.

Visit Budget Review »

Stay Updated

Please enter your email address to join the mailing list. View previous newsletters.

By subscribing to our newsletter service, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

To manage your mailing list preferences, please click here »