from 30th May
Jens Schaps from DG Trade, European Commission, presented slides (here in PDF) on the
current status of agriculture in the Doha Development Agenda. Between
the preparation of the slides and his oral delivery cuts to domestic
support had been increased from 60 to 70%. Export subsidies are to
be eliminated altogether by 2014. Tobias Reichert of the German NGO
Forum on Environment and Development asked whether that
not be done earlier.
In the afternoon Peter Balas from DG Trade, European Commission,
reported with some optimism just before leaving for negotitions in
He asserted that the EU had offered 70% "of trade-distorting subsidies"
versus 60% "real reductions" by the US. Balas asserted that the EU is
offering 40% NAMA cuts versus Brazil's cut of only 1% (from tarif of 11
down to 10), a comparison later challenged by Oxfam in the specifics of
bound versus applied tariffs and the Swiss coefficient. In that
difference lies the policy space. "Sensitive products" are not eligible
for cuts. "Special products" are given more favorable treatment for
purposes such as food security, rural development and poverty
alleviation in developing countries.
Separately an Open Letter to Commissioner Mandelson was published by
several NGOs in the Financial Times, which provoked comment on the BBC.
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