CAP not to blame for WTO collapse

UK - The collapse of the WTO talks this week was not down to Europe's position but to the United States' refusal to compromise, says the NFU.
calendar icon 27 July 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

The NFU agrees with the thoughts of many commentators, saying the USA’s refusal to curb its own trade-distorting domestic support payments and its aggressive approach to market access has put an end to this round of talks.

In the EU, CAP reform means the bulk of support payments are no longer related to production or prices, making them non-trade distorting. In the WTO talks the EU has also shown willingness to grant higher levels of market access for non EU nations.

Peter Kendall, president of the NFU, said: “It is disappointing these talks have collapsed but, in a sense, no deal is better than a bad deal. This pause will give time for everyone to reflect. Negotiators need to realise the need for a balanced deal across the board where EU agriculture is not unfairly singled out as a sacrificial lamb.”

The NFU says the collapse of negotiations gives all those concerned breathing space and a chance to make sure the next round of talks achieve a good result. However, there is a concern that the collapse in the talks may have an impact on US policies and lead to a slowing of future US agricultural reforms.

The NFU supports the next round of trade talks because it is concerned if multilateral negotiations are suspended, individual countries might focus on their own bilateral trade agreements which would not set a level playing field for world trade.

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