May 29, 2008

WTO: Progress Hampered By US Farm Bill?

Concern over the US Farm Bill has started to affect the already troubled WTO negotiations on agriculture. This report from Reuters quotes New Zealand's WTO Ambo Rambo Falconer

"A few of them had a go at the new farm bill," said New Zealand's WTO ambassador Crawford Falconer, after WTO members met to review the revised proposals he issued last week for a farm deal in the WTO's Doha round. The countries criticising the $289 billion U.S. farm bill, passed last Thursday and overriding a presidential veto, included Burkina Faso, speaking for cotton producers, Canada, Paraguay and Bolivia.
Falconer said the new bill did not directly affect WTO negotiations, but agreed it would have a negative affect.
"It's another factor which complicates everybody's life, there's no doubt about that politically," he said.