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High Food Prices Help New Push for WTO Deal

by 5m Editor
30 January 2008, at 10:41am

BRUSSELS - Soaring world food prices should help a revived bid to clinch a global trade deal this year because they ease the concerns of farmers in rich countries, the EU's trade chief said on Tuesday.


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"The consequences are that the arguments in favour of border protection and market price support are not what they were when we started out on the long Doha journey"
Peter Mandelson

"I think it helps and I think we have seen that in the agriculture negotiations in Geneva," Peter Mandelson said, referring to talks at the World Trade Organisation over the Doha round of negotiations for a world trade deal.

"I think the consequences are that the arguments in favour of border protection and market price support are not what they were when we started out on the long Doha journey" in 2001.

Food prices have hit record highs in recent months, pressured by factors such as climate change, emerging country demand, demand for biofuels and population growth.

Mandelson said the high prices should make it easier for the the United States to lower its farm subsidies to within a range proposed by WTO mediators last year, a key part of the puzzle that needs to be put together for the Doha deal to be done.

Source: TheGuardian

5m Editor