Monday 15 September 2003

BBC: Mixed feelings over Cancun collapse

No surprise that the WTO talks in Cancun failed. The EU gives farmers $86.8 billion a year. The US Farm Bill 2002 will spend $180 billion over the next 10 years. So agricultural trade is incredibly distorted and Cancun failed because there's no political will in the rich countries to do the right thing and change their domestic policies to give developing countries a level playing field. We're not talking a major domestic fallout either. The largest 2% of Europe's farms receive 24% of all direct payments while the smallest 60% receive only 10%. We're paying big farms to (inefficiently) over produce and depress the market for developing nations. Developing nations can't even process their own raw produce and export an added value produce because of the import tariffs they would be subject to. So much for free trade. It's a double standard.

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