PROPOSALS TO reduce import tariffs in the agricultural markets of rich countries by the ‘G-20’ group of developing nations has been welcomed by trade officials from the European Union and the United States.
During the last week trade ministers from 30 nations met in the Chinese town of Delian to find a compromise solution between what it is wanted from the G20, the EU and Australia.
The EU is seeking uniform cuts in all tariffs others, however, are seeking a varying reduction in tariffs with the higher tariffs cut the most.
EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson welcomed the proposals which he said have “kept the Doha round on track”. However, he insisted that other developed nations need to act similarly. “To lock in progress other developed economies need to move on agricultural domestic support and export subsidies,” said Mr Mandelson.
Rob Portman, US trade representative, welcomed the proposals, but said cuts should be deeper. Japan, for example, imposes a 500% tariff on rice imports.
- The G20 group includes: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Phillipines, South Africa, Thailand, Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zimbawe