Proposals aimed at ending the long-running WTO Doha talks on food liberalisation were released this afternoon (17 July).

Negotiations chairman Crawford Falconer released formulas for cutting tariffs and trade-distorting production subsidies.

The range of tariffs is much narrower than in last year’s ill-fated proposals that sparked a suspension of the talks.

Falconer has proposed the EU cuts its food subsidies by 75% or 85%. His plans also ask the US and Japan to cut subsidies by 66% or 73% and other countries to reduce them by 50% or 60%.

Tariffs would be slashed by a formula, with steeper cuts for higher duties. For rich countries, tariffs would fall by 48–52% for products with the lowest tariffs, and 66–73% for products with the highest tariffs. For developing countries, the range would be 32–34% and 44–48% respectively.

WTO member countries will be invited to make their initial responses, and talks should be adjourned by 1 August, with formal responses being invited in September.