A EU Warning to Brazil and G20: Open Your Markets If You Want End to Subsidies

No agreement can be reached in agriculture in the WTO (World Trade Organization) talks if emerging countries, particularly from Latinamerica, don’t open their markets to industrial goods and services, said European Union Trade Commissionaire Peter Mandelson, on Friday, October 14.

"If such opening for industrial goods and services does not happen, let me be perfectly clear there will be no such thing for agriculture. It’s simply not feasible," underlined Mr. Mandelson in a release which was distributed in Brussels.

The statement was in reply to the latest G20 (Group of developing countries which includes Brazil, India, Argentina, among others) proposal to the United States, the European Union and Japan for the dismantling of domestic support to farmers and opening markets to agriculture produce so as to promote competition from emerging countries and help unlock WTO Doha round trade talks.

Earlier in the week in Geneva the G20 proposed strong cuts to rich countries domestic farm subsidies: 80% when they amount to over US$ 60 billion; 75% for those between US$ 10 billion and US$ 60 billion and less that US$ 10 billion, 70% reduction.

As to market access, the G20 natios suggested a minimum 54% cut in import tariffs, while developing countries would be exposed to a maximum 36% tariff cut.

Last Monday the US and EU had come forward with less restrictive initiatives, but Mr. Mandelson also warned that regarding agriculture "EU and US can’t carry the full burden by them only".

"We can’t offer greater prospects in agriculture for the Latinamerican competitive farmers if in exchange markets in which we are looking for greater access are not opened," insisted Mr. Mandelson.

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

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