7 June 2002

US wants to scrap farm export cash

THE US wants farm export subsidies scrapped within five years, Washingtons top agricultural trade negotiator has said.

Allen Johnson introduced the proposal at informal talks at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva on Tuesday (June 5) – a move that is certain to add to transatlantic trade friction, according to the Financial Times.

Brussels – the worlds main user of export subsidies – spends about £1.7bn/year to make EU exports artificially cheap in global markets.

Although the recent US Farm Bill increased agricultural support by 70%, Washington relies mainly on direct payments and makes relatively little use of export subsidies.

Mr Johnson claimed "overwhelming support" in the WTO for scrapping export subsidies. &#42