The storm builds

The US-EU joint paper[⇒ related story] has provoked others into trying their hand at a new approach to a WTO deal on reforming world agricultural trade. Look for a paper in the next day or so from India, China and Brazil that * calls for the elimination of export subsidies
* cracks-down on domestic support payments like those in the US Farm Bill of 2002
* but goes soft on access to markets Unfortunately, neither Brazil nor India has a strong record in opening their own agriculture markets. Brazil has an average agricultural tariff of about 35% with 96% of its agricultural tariffs higher than 15%. Almost half of India’s agricultural tariff lines are above 100%. China reckons that it has already made its contribution by its agreement to open markets during its negotiations to join the WTO. These are nonetheless some heavy-hitters in the political economy of the world trading system. Their proposals will carry weight in the final mix, whatever that turns out to be. Another attempt at a ‘compromise’ from the negotiating group Chairman? Possibly.
But considerable confusion ahead… ? Certainly.

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