EU urges US to go deeper in farm subsidy cuts

30-06-2006 | |

The European Union has urged the United States to make deeper cuts on agricultural subsidies, pledging to improve its offer on farm subsidies, much to the condemnation of American Farmers.

Ahead of World Trade Organisation ministerial talks in Geneva aimed at narrowing differences in negotiations on lifting global trade barriers, EU agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said: “We need real offers, specifically on domestic support.”

EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson too called for “effective, real cuts in farm subsidies”.

Mandelson reiterated that “the EU is prepared, if the circumstances are right, to significantly improve our offer in agricultural market access”.

However American farmers, have criticised the WTO’s call for the US to further reduce its agriculture subsidies to help revive struggling global trade talks.

Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said proposed figures for subsidy and tariff cuts cited by WTO were unacceptable because they would result in economic losses for the United States’ farm producers.

Stallman said US agriculture would reject any trade deal that would force Washington to significantly cut back on government handouts to farmers without providing “real market access” opportunities for exports in return.