AGRIBUSINESS: World Trade Organization Deal Hits Snag

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The World Trade Organization membership is under pressure to develop a trade deal at the ninth World Trade Organization ministerial meeting.

Held once every two years, the meeting taking place this week in Bali Indonesia has hit a snag during negotiations over the G-33 proposal.  The G-33 proposal focuses primarily on developing countries, where the World Trade Organization would change the rules to allow them to exceed the cap on farm subsidies.

The United States argued that the proposal would encourage stockpiling, which drives up prices in the short-term and makes it more difficult for poor countries to meet their own food needs.

Developing nations are also pushing for a reduction in the U.S. and European Union’s agricultural export subsidies.

World Trade Organization members agreed in 2005 to eliminate all agriculture subsidies by 2013 but that hinged on a final Doha deal, which has not yet materialized.

The Doha round is the latest round of trade negotiations among the World Trade Organization membership aimed at achieving major international trading reform from lower barriers and revised rules.  The Doha round has been stalled in the World Trade Organization since 2008.