30 September 1999
‘Aggressive’ US trade reform bid

‘AGGRESSIVE reform’ of agricultural trade is near the top of US priorities in the forthcoming World Trade Organisation talks in Seattle.

Trade representative Charlene Barshefsky told the Senate finance committee that the USA would seek to eliminate all remaining farm export subsidies.

She is also seeking lower tariff rates and toughen restrictions on the operation of state trading enterprise.

Dan Glickman, agriculture secretary, testifying to the same committee, said Americas “number one priority” was persuading the EU to begin dismantling its vast agricultural subsidy network.

He said he was disappointed that Brussels appeared to be backing away from reform.

Mr Glickman added that the USA was working with other agricultural exporting countries to “isolate” the EU on the issue.