24 November 1999
Farming stalemate in WTO talks

AGRICULTURE has proved to be the stumbling block to agreement being reached at a World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting in Geneva.

Opponents of subsidies for the farming sector — the USA and the Cairns Group of 15 agricultural free-traders — were unable to reach a compromise with the EU and Japan, which were determined to protect their markets.

The failure to reach an agreement throws next weeks WTO ministerial meeting in Seattle into some confusion.

The Geneva get-together of trade envoys was supposed to have agreed the agenda for Seattle.