Archive Article: 2001/08/17

17 August 2001

Subsidy squabbles help nobody at all

There are lies, damned lies and statistics about farm support. Washington claims that Brussels is the worlds worst offender. About 40% of EU farm income comes from subsidies, compared with just 20% in the US, it claims.

But Brussels counters that US farm spending totals $76bn shared among just 2m farmers, compared with $55bn in the EU shared among 7m farmers.

Who knows where the truth lies? What cannot be denied is that, having just agreed another $5.5bn emergency aid package, the fourth in as many years, the US has no moral authority to tell other trading blocks to spend less on farm support, while it spends more.

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