US reject latest EU farm tariffs cut proposal

US - The European Union's offer to cut farm tariffs by as much as 60% falls short of expectations because the proposal allows exemptions that would block key exports said United States officials.

"While in some ways it is a step in the right direction and we acknowledge the European Commission's efforts, much more needs to be done", said US Trade Representative Rob Portman.

Earlier in the day European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson on making the proposal announcement said that "by any measure this is a very bold move indeed. It goes way beyond anything we've offered before", and "must unlock immediate progress" on other areas, such as services and industrial products.

However United States questions some exemptions which could effectively block the goods most likely to be exported by US farmers to Europe, although the products were not specified.

In the face of fierce opposition from France, the 25-nation European Union offered to trim agriculture tariffs by 35% to 60%, and implement a cap that would limit remaining duties to no more than 100% of the value of an import.

calendar icon 2 November 2005
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