Farm Issue Threatens GATT Talks DEADLINE NIGH

By Howard LaFranchi, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, October 16, 1990 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Farm Issue Threatens GATT Talks DEADLINE NIGH

Howard LaFranchi, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor

THE four-year Uruguay Round of international negotiations on liberalizing trade rules is coming down to the wire with no agreement in sight on the crucial issue of agriculture.

With an Oct. 15 deadline for final negotiating positions on agriculture having passed without a proposal from the European Community (EC), the United lStates continues to warn that failure to move forward on world farm trade reform could lead to collapse of the 100-nation General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade talks.

European officials promise a final agriculture trade offer to the GATT talks in Geneva will be forthcoming sometime this week. But any European offer is unlikely to settle the row between the US and the EC over farm support programs - at root a clash of visions of farmers and farming.

Still, GATT officials insist the time remains to find the necessary compromises. But they admit that some of the tougher subjects, such as agriculture, may not be settled before the round's concluding ministerial meeting begins in Brussels on Dec. 3.

"We've reached a crunch, and if that puts negotiating governments in an uncomfortable position and gets them moving, then it's welcome," says GATT spokesman David Woods. The goal now, he adds, is to use the seven weeks before the Brussels meeting "to clear away as much undergrowth as possible" so ministers in December can focus on the remaining "big questions."

Western nations hope to see the talks result in new trade rules for areas such as services and intellectual property. Developing nations appear willing to support such new rules, but in return they want reduced trade barriers for their farm products and textiles.

US officials say they fear a walkout from the talks by developing nations if they don't see a better deal on agriculture forthcoming. Plan hit from both sides

The EC commission has endorsed a plan for trimming the Community's $53 billion in annual farm supports by 30 percent by 1996. But that proposal is drawing high heat from the Community's farm and trade ministers, who generally express greater interest in protecting the EC's 10 million farmers.

Even as European officials battle among themselves, US officials say a 30 percent cut won't be enough, and are zeroing in on the EC's $35 billion agricultural export support program as a prime target for deeper cuts.

Examples abound of how such export subsidies distort world trade and hurt the developing countries that are vital to a final GATT accord.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Farm Issue Threatens GATT Talks DEADLINE NIGH


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?