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World trade offer will hit European farmers, admits Brussels

by 5m Editor
12 December 2005, at 12:00am

EU - Brussels' most recent offer on trade liberalisation will mean "very real challenges" for European farmers and it will offer substantial new market access to other countries, admits agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel.

World trade offer will hit European farmers, admits Brussels - EU - Brussels' most recent offer on trade liberalisation will mean "very real challenges" for European farmers and it will offer substantial new market access to other countries, admits agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel.
National
Pig
Association

National Pig Association
THE VOICE OF THE UK PIG INDUSTRY

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

The offer - which has been condemned by the National Pig Association - includes a cut in average farm tariffs from 23 to 12 percent and an opening of markets in "sensitive products" such as pork.

Fischer Boel says she cannot understand why Brazil and the US are complaining the offer does not go far enough.

"So far, we are yet to see any meaningful commitment from the US to discipline its use of food aid to offload domestic surpluses. We need to find the right way to do this while making sure that genuine food aid continues to play its essential role. Likewise, the US must accept real disciplines on its export credit programmes.

"We also need clear commitments from countries like Australia, Canada and New Zealand to discipline the trade-distorting practices of their state trading enterprises."

Fischer Boel has called on the US to carry out effective and real reforms of its trade-distorting counter cyclical payments. "While our support payments continue on a downward trend, US payments continue to increase."

The European Community is already the most open market in the world to farm imports from the poorest countries. It takes 85 percent of Africa's agricultural exports and 45 percent of Latin America imports. It imports as much farm produce from developing countries as the US, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand combined.

The EU proposal on trade barriers:

  • To substantially reduce its trade distorting support
  • To phase out its export subsidies
  • To substantially increase market access opportunities.
  • Recognises the importance of special and differential treatment for developing countries.

The offer is conditional on other members responding with "equally ambitious" offers.

Source: the National Pig Association - 12th December 2005

5m Editor