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Mandelson: Immediate Subsidy Cuts 'Not Possible'

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

13 December 2005


Speaking to reporters on Monday, EU Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson revealed that the European Union is unlikely to be making new concessions over agricultural subsidies at the Doha round of global trade talks which began in Hong Kong today.

Suggesting that a deal on immediate subsidy cuts was "not possible", Mr Mandelson reasoned that the six day WTO talks should focus on agreeing the format of cuts to take place next year.

"There's simply too little on the table to negotiate about in Hong Kong," he observed.

The EU has been slammed by the United States and developing WTO members for failing to pledge sufficient tariff cuts.

However, the EU has countered by arguing that its proposed 46% farm tariff cut is a significant one, and represents its best offer, given the strong objections of countries such as France to further cuts.


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