EU urges U.S. ag reform

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Feb 21, 2005
by WLJ
The U.S. needs to match European Union efforts to reform agriculture trade policy, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said Feb. 11.
The EU is working to update its Common Agricultural Policy. This has the potential to cut “distorting trade subsidies” by two-thirds, eliminate export subsidies and offer improved market access for many products, he said.
“We look to others to match this, including the United States. In particular we need to see how the U.S. plans to reduce and discipline agricultural domestic support and export credit.” Mandelson said in prepared text for a speech to the U. S. Chamber of Commerce.
Mandelson said international trade officials need to move faster on the issue of anti-dumping rules. Many countries are adopting trade defense regimes that could turn into protectionism.
“Unless we reach rapid agreement on how to handle this issue, the opportunity for reform will be lost and countries across the world will lock in unsatisfactory and restrictive regimes damaging world economic growth,” Mandelson said.
Mandelson said he hopes the U. S. and Europe are heading into a new era of cooperation. Both sides of the Atlantic need to set aside past differences and work to create stability in Iraq and progress toward peace in the Middle East, he said.
U.S. President George W. Bush’s upcoming visit to Europe will be an important step renewing this relationship, Mandelson said. He said Bush should renew U.S. support for European integration, as well as broader transatlantic themes.
“This is the strongest signal he could send of support for what we are doing to reunite our continent in democracy and economic development, and to build a Europe more capable of assuming its global role,” Mandelson said.
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