According to Brazilian retired diplomat Rubens Ricúpero, the former secretary general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, Brazil should not be so concerned with free trade questions in the farm sector at this time, especially in negotiations at the World Trade Organization level. "Sooner or later these problems are going to be dealt with and progress will be made," he said.
Ricúpero went on to emphasis that besides world public opinion which is against the present system of subsidies, there is the fact that budgetary limitations will make it impossible for such spending to continue (for example, western European nations are spending about US$ 1 billion per day on farm subsidies).
According to Ricúpero, the rich nations dominate world trade and almost always come out on top in multilateral negotiations. So, he suggests more direct negotiations, country to country, or block to block.
"There is a natural tendency for trade to increase," says Ricúpero. He points out that this year, even without successful agreements at the WTO or the FTAA, Brazilian exports rose 35%.
"The idea that trade only increases as a result of negotiated agreements is not true. It can happen through the give and take of normal relations. You just have to be careful about giving too much," concluded Ricúpero.
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