||Last Updated: Dec 19th, 2007 - 13:17:15
Friday Oct 28:EU
tables new offer in Doha World Trade talks; calls for immediate movement on
services and industrial goods
Saturday Oct 29: Doha
Trade Round: Political Jellyfish, Irish economic consequences and World
Bank's call for 75% reduction in official farm tariff
President Jacques Chirac held up the prospect of a veto if the EU offer any
further cuts to farm subsidies and tariffs, in the current Doha Round of trade
|French President Jacques Chirac - Although a Doha trade would offer new opportunities for French and Irish manufacturing and services exports, spineless politicians in France and Ireland are just focused on pandering to the farm vote|
As the EU remains under pressure
from both the US and Developing Countries to match America's offer of big
reductions in farm import tariffs, Chirac made it clear that France will prevent
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson from making new concessions.
``It is totally out of the question
for us to go a single step further,'' Chirac told a news conference after the
EU's informal summit at Hampton Court Palace, near London today. France would
have a veto over any agreement, he added.
The French-led defence of European
farm supports, a stance that is supported by Ireland, casts a shadow over the
expected offer that the EU is due to make on Friday, thereby putting the whole
trade reform framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at risk.
WTO negotiators are hoping to have
the bones of a trade deal agreed before a planned Ministerial meeting in Hong
Kong from December 13-18th. On Monday, Mandelson warned that prospects for the
Hong Kong meeting are ``on a knife-edge.''
France gets about a quarter of the
proceeds of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) while Ireland is the
highest per-capita beneficiary.
Mandelson has said he will go ahead
with his new proposal on Friday saying that it will be ``within the mandate''
set by EU governments. European Commission President Jose Barroso commented ``I
don't think'' France will block the offer.
Chirac, says that the 2003 CAP
reform measures are sufficient concessions but the EU did not expect the US to
propose large cuts in tariffs, which are much more critical to Developing
Countries than EU domestic subsidies, according to the World Bank.
Chirac heaped scorn on the
the US and ``large emerging countries'' for ``impoverishing'' the world's
poorest countries by forcing them to buy U.S. food surpluses.
Mandelson, who has said that his
counterparts should move the talks beyond agriculture, is set to speak via
teleconference on Friday with US Trade Representative Rob Portman, Brazilian
Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and Australian and Indian Trade Ministers Mark
Vaile and Kamal Nath. Their teleconference will focus on rich country
tariffs that protect producers from lower world prices.
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh
Rasmussen said in an interview on Thursday that Mandelson's leeway to offer
deeper European concessions ``will very much depend on negotiations within the
The World Bank says that EU tariffs
on food imports average 13.9 percent, compared to 2.4 percent for the US and
29.4 percent for Japan.
Rob Portman has said the EU must at
the least offer reductions of 45 percent to 75 percent in the tariffs, in line
with what Developing Countries such as Brazil have proposed. The EU's current
proposal recommends cuts of 20 percent to 50 percent.
Mandelson says trade talks are on
"knife-edge" as Bono and Geldof remain on sidelines
Mandelson rejects France and
Ireland's claims on Doha Round trade talks at Luxembourg EU
Ireland, one of the World's
greatest beneficiaries of Free Trade supports Protectionist France in opposition
to reduction of farm product tariffs
Ireland's net receipts from EU
Budget rose €34m in 2004; Irish top per capita beneficiaries in EU15 at
Success of Doha Round trade
talks dependent on EU/US agreement on farm product import tariff
Trade concessions critical for world's poor
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