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May 2, 2002

EU: Fischler slams US for “flunking farm policy reform”

Reacting to the agreement reached on the new Farm Bill by the US Senate and the House of Representatives negotiators, Franz Fischler, EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, warned that the multi-billion dollar proposed legislation is an unfortunate development for farmers in the US and throughout the world.

Reacting to the agreement reached on the new Farm Bill by the US Senate and the House of Representatives negotiators, Franz Fischler, EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, warned that the multi-billion dollar proposed legislation is an unfortunate development for farmers in the US and throughout the world.

“This risks calling into question the reform promises of Doha. At a time when all developed countries have accepted the direction of farm support away from trade and production distorting measures, the US is doing an about turn and heading in the opposite direction”, he said.

Commission experts consider it likely that US WTO ceilings for production-distorting expenditure will be breached. “I am astonished by claims made in the US Congress that much of these price-linked subsidies would not be counted against US commitments. The US will have to respect WTO rules,” Franz Fischler warned.

He said that he was especially concerned by the negative message this proposed Farm Bill passes to developing countries. The new Farm Bill presented an opportunity for the US to set policy on a rational and sustainable footing. “The US has clearly flunked the test,” said Franz Fischler.

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