21 April 1999
Australia attacks EU farm reforms

AUSTRALIA has struck an aggressive stance for the upcoming World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations on agricultural trade.

Australian officials claim that the USA and European Union (EU) have both reneged on previous commitments to reform their farming sectors.

They also claim that the USA and EU have erected “higher actual or potential barriers to trade than previously existed” since the last trade round agreed in 1994.

Australias accusations, made ahead of the WTO negotiations, have been backed by the Cairns Group of 15 farm exporting countries.

This group, as well as Australia, Canada and New Zealand, also speaks for various emerging economies – including Argentina, Brazil, Thailand and South Africa.

Both parties attacked Europes Agenda 2000 reforms agreed last month.

Australia was also critical of recent proposals by the US to adopt quotas or tariffs on imports of Australian lamb.