Washington and Brussels will have a try at kick-starting the stalled Doha Development Agenda trade negotiations by presenting some ideas on agricultural market access and domestic supports to the two other members of the so-called 'quad' meeting set for Friday India and Brazil and then bring them to more partners
Among the highlights: Portman agreeing that food aid should be in commodities not cash; Repeated declaration from Administration officials and members of Congress that US needs to 'box shift' domestic support and jack up payment levels in farm bill so as to make for higer baselines; Senate Ag committee chair saying that for Hong Kong 'No Agreementi better than a bad agreement' which in his view means major tariff cuts to allow for more US market access.
The United States will demand other countries make steep cuts in their farm subsidies and tariffs before considering any change to its own programs, the chief U.S. negotiator said on Wednesday as lawmakers mulled how world trade talks could reshape the U.S. farm safety net.
TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Sept05/7)
The WTO negotiations on non-agricultural market access (NAMA) are taking place now in Geneva, on 21-23 September. The negotiations are already quite advanced. If there are signs of serious movements in agriculture, the major players could well try to wrap things up in NAMA quickly - with serious consequences for the developing countries' industries.(M.Khor)