Saturday, January 20, 2007

Controversial US-EU agriculture deal proposed

Source: “US and EU near agriculture trade deal” -

After a meeting of high-level officials this weeken, the US and the EU are close closing on a new agricultural trade deal. As reported last week on the blog, such progress could be a virtual rebirth of the Doha trade talks.

The outline of the proposed deal contains conessions that are already controversial on both sides of the Atlantic – such controversy leaves some uncertain whether the involved negotiators can get the necessary political backing to finalise the deal. The deal includes Brussels’ agreement to “cut barriers to foreign agricultural products” by an average of 54%, as well as the US’ agreement to “lower the ceiling on its domestic farm subsidies”.

Despite the progress, Paris looms in the distance as a threat to the deal; Paris will most likely be in opposition to the deal. However, experts believe that Germany, which has usually been effective in helping to persuade Paris, will be a valuable asset in helping the deal come to fruition once more.


- Are the stalled trade talks a result of too much hubris from one or more sides, or do they represent a much deeper problem in the global economy?

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