Monday, October 10, 2005

US Moves on AgSubs

The US is willing to cut its farm subsidies if the EU and Japan cut their's also. They have always said this was their position as far as I understand and remember.

What's changed is the EU is prepared to match the offer. Agricultural subsidies have been the principal bugbear of developing countries in the Doha Round of trade talks and in my view, no progress will ever be made on free trade until it becomes free.

That sounds stupid but is the sad reality. The only thing developing countries can produce at the moment is farm produce (not the ONLY thing, but pretty much). There is never going to be development if that produce is priced out of the developed markets by tariffs.

This is HUGE news and could change the whole face of not only the Doha trade talks, but the state of world trade and development in general.

Good on them.


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