16 March 1999
WTO urged to cut farm subsidies

THE USA yesterday urged the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to push for deep cuts in environmentally damaging farm subsidies among its member countries.

US officials told a WTO meeting that the trading organisation should seek out “win-win” options where trade liberalisation would yield significant environmental benefits.

In a separate statement, the 15-strong Cairns group of agricultural free traders said farm subsidies linked to production stimulated harmful practices.

The statement cited subsidies which encourage the excessive use of chemicals and the impoverishment of poor nations by cutting world food prices..