CPC Identifies Improvements in Draft WTO Agricultural Framework Agreement

by 5m Editor
20 July 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1562. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1562

The Canadian Pork Council says a new chairman's text proposed for a World Trade Organization agricultural framework agreement improves on a draft rejected last fall.

In September negotiations in Mexico aimed at establishing a World Trade Organization agricultural framework agreement collapsed when it was determined there wasn't enough agreement to proceed.

Canadian Pork Council Executive Director Martin Rice says the new text, brought forward by the Chair of the WTO Agriculture Negotiating Committee, has improved on the draft that was rejected.

"It has changes which address some of the issues raised by developing countries, some of the issues raised by countries such as Canada in terms of the desire to get bigger cuts in domestic support, for example, and certainly still focusing on reductions in tariffs and a commitment to eliminate export subsidies.

This draft text would have more satisfactory elements than the text in Cancun and it does target all the major pillars of market access, export subsidies and domestic support that we been wanting to see further improvements to at the world level.

The conclusion would be that there is a fairly important effort that's taken place here to come up with the text that would allow countries to begin to agree on a framework from which they could then get into detailed negotiations over the next two or three years."

Rice says the Canadian pork industry would have liked clearer commitments to reducing barriers that limit market access but there's fairly strong resistance to that, particularly from the European Union.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor