17 November 1999
USA’s high hopes for WTO talks

DAN GLICKMAN, US agriculture secretary, said he expected to get agreement on a mandate for talks on liberalising farm trade when World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministers meet in Seattle this month.

The USA and the Cairns Group of agricultural exporters regard liberalisation of trade in agriculture as the core of the forthcoming WTO talks.

Both want the Seattle meeting to agree detailed market-opening objectives, including subsidy and tariff cuts.

The European Union and Japan are opposed to this policy.

These countries emphasise the “multifunctional nature” of agriculture in protecting the countryside, preserving rural life, providing food security and so on.