Wetenschap - 1 januari 1970

WTO meeting a failure?

WTO meeting a failure?

WTO meeting a failure?


‘The developing countries have chosen for profit in the long term’

The ministerial negotiations on world trade in Cancun, Mexico broke down
last Sunday. Compromise was blocked by a new alliance of the bigger
developing countries, including Brazil, India, Mexico, Chile, South Africa
and China. This group, G21, demanded that the abolition of agriculture
subsidies in the EU and US be discussed before other subjects on the agenda
were dealt with. The EU and US were not in the mood to do so and wanted to
talk about the more painful issues for the developing countries: free
western investment and improvements to bureaucratic customs procedures in
developing countries. Anti-globalist campaigners viewed the breakdown in
talks as a victory, claiming that the developing countries are being
listened to for the first time. Wb put the question to a number of
specialists at Wageningen UR.

Dr Niek Koning, Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group: “It has
become clear that the real opposition in world trade relations is not
between the EU and the US, but between these two and the developing
countries. Both the EU and the US replaced the price subsidies for
agricultural goods with direct income support for farmers and called that
liberalisation. It is a good thing that the developing countries don’t
accept that. In the last round of negotiations, the EU and US squabbled for
years about agricultural subsidies. Once they’d reached agreement they gave
the developing countries one week to sign the agreement. They can no longer
do this. It is a shame that no agreement was reached but the EU and US were
not prepared to alter their proposal and it is good that the developing
countries are not prepared to sign everything away.

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