Farm tariff cuts would lead to big gains: OECD
A study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) shows that a world trade deal cutting farm subsidies and tariffs in half
would boost global income by $US26 billion a year, with the EU benefiting from
more than one third of the gains.
Japan, another country with many protective farm tariffs, would receive 24%
of the income gains and the US would get 10%, the OECD study found. Brazil would
be by far the largest non-OECD beneficiary, with 5% of the income
These conclusions were drawn from the OECD's review of the
potential gains from halving subsidies and tariffs that distort trade, like
those that shield farmers from market forces and encourage them to plant certain
World Trade Organisation members are currently working on
formulas for cutting domestic farm subsidies and reducing tariffs on
agricultural and manufacturing goods, but are struggling to reach
Negotiators are running out of time to get a deal because
key US trade legislation, that makes it easier to negotiate such agreements,
expires next year.
One of the biggest areas of disagreement is the
size of farm tariff cuts. The EU has proposed cutting tariffs an average of 39%,
compared to a developing country proposal of 52% and a US proposal of
In October, the US proposed cutting its overall trade-distorting
farm subsidies by 53% if the EU and other developed countries joined by cutting
farm tariffs by 55-90%.
Major developing countries such as India and
Brazil would also have to agree to significant cuts under the US
US farm groups recently sent a letter to the US government,
urging a scale back of the US offer to cut domestic farm subsidies unless the EU
and other countries also agree to bigger cuts.
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