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WTO Deal Cannot Be Achieved At Any Cost

by 5m Editor
20 June 2007, at 11:00am

UK - As World Trade Organisation negotiations approach a critical stage NFU President Peter Kendall has expressed his concerns about recent calls for a deal on agricultural issues at any cost.

In a speech at Harlow Agricultural Merchants’ dinner today, Mr Kendall will be highlighting his concerns about the negotiations focusing on agriculture rather than covering all sectors.

Speaking before the dinner he said: “Recent calls for an ‘agriculture-only’ deal single out agriculture and fail to recognise the need for a rounded and balanced deal covering all economic sectors for the round to deliver a fair and positive outcome.

“I also view with special concern the intransigent position of certain parties that choose to ignore the radical policy reform already undertaken at the EU level and the impact it has had on our farmers. While I am fully aware that tariff reduction is part of any liberalisation process, it needs to be put into context.

He further highlighted that EU concessions would need to be balanced by concessions from other parties and by enough flexibility in the final deal.

“The negotiating parties must recognise that the current EU offer already implies an average level of cuts in agricultural tariffs that would exceed the reduction on industrial tariffs undertaken in any of the previous trade rounds. It would be completely unacceptable if such a generous offer is not counterbalanced by concessions to be made by other parties.

“Any final deal must incorporate enough flexibility to ensure that the specific circumstances of those sectors potentially more severely impacted, such as beef and poultry, are fully taken into account in any final deal.

Source: Politics.co.uk

5m Editor