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Heavy agriculture subsidies by rich countries is unfair:Lamy

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 5 (UNI) World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General Pascal Lamy today admitted that the trade distorting heavy subsidies to agriculture given by developed countries like the US, EU and Japan ''are unfair and these have to be changed if the WTO negotiations on agricultural front are to succeed''.

Responding to the critical observations of civil societies and farmers bodies representatives at the meeting organised by the Commerce and Industry Ministry, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) here, Mr Lamy said ''domestic and export subsidies given by the EU, USA and Japan are absolutely unfair and have to be changed if negotiations are to be forwarded".

With the intention to break the logjam in ongoing WTO talks in agriculture and non-agricultural market access(NAMA), Mr Lamy, who arrived here on the two-day visit to India, is holding discussions with the Indian government and other stake-holders with a view to conclude these negotiations by April 30, the deadline set by the world body.

Mr Lamy said the ceiling for all subsidies had to be brought down and export subsidy is a ''real problem''. There could be no negotiations if the US does not cut its domestic subsidy (to agriculture).

He also admitted that non-tariff barriers like Sanitary and Phyto-sanitiory (SPS) maeasures were not harmonious and needed to be transparent.

''But this has not be decided yet and likely to take up in the next round'', he added.

On the service sector, Mr Lamy said 20-25 issue were involved in this area but more serious negotiation were in the field of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).


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