As trade talks continue in Hong Kong, delegates from the G-20 group of developing nations have reiterated calls for major cuts in agricultural trade barriers.  Developing nations say a trade deal should not come at expense of hundreds of millions of poor farmers.

    Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said Wednesday, December 14, that the multilateral trading system has so far created a "development deficit."  He says the agricultural protection practices of the developed nations are to blame.

    "Poor countries cannot wait for another 20 years to see true reforms in agriculture trade. The time to act is now. All forms of distorting subsidies have to be eliminated or drastically reduced," Amorim said.

    Brazil has been spearheading efforts by the so-called G-20 group of developing nations to put an end to large agricultural subsidies.

    The G-20 nations argue that these subsidies make agricultural products from the developed nations artificially cheap, in turn making those from the developing nations uncompetitive.
     
    Agriculture subsidies are the major stumbling block in the World Trade Organization talks this week in Hong Kong.  The European Union, which has the most heavily subsidized agricultural sector, is refusing to make further cuts unless the developing nations open up their markets to foreign industrial goods and services.

    Brazil’s Amorim says developing countries see the problem in a different way. 

    "The major economies cannot expect more concessions from developing countries than they are willing themselves to offer…It just won’t happen," Amorim said.

    Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath put the dispute in stark number terms.

    "In developing countries including India, hundreds of millions of low-income and subsistence farmers eke out a precarious livelihood from agriculture," Mr. Nath said. "Unless the playing field is completely leveled, they cannot enter the arena of international competition…The ambitions of developed countries cannot and must not trample on the aspirations of four-fifths of humanity."

    The G-20 has emerged as a powerful negotiating bloc in the WTO. Its members include two of the world’s fastest growing economies – India and China – and other Asian, Latin American and African nations, most of them with largely agriculture-based economies.

    Despite the talks impasse, Mr. Amorim says the G-20 is committed to reaching an agreement on methods of cutting agricultural protection by April of next year.

    The talks in Hong Kong end Sunday.

    VoA

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    • Show Comments (4)

    • Guest

      …..
      – allowing your banks to charge interest rates of 80 to 150 % per year to individuals, when inflation is at 6 to 8 %, therefore paying minimum twice the price.
      – promising new spending on social projects, MST, housing, infrastructure, etc etc, and later reducing or not freeing the money. So why vote the spending if you know you wont spend it ? To get a good rating by your citizens, I bet.

      I could continue for hours, but what is certain is that Lula and his Ministers have betrayed brazilians citizens the same as past governments.

      Therefore Brazil has no lesson to give to the US and EU. They should better copy us.
      After all Brazil has already a huge trade surplus with us. Why should we accept more ? Our farmers are as important as brazilian farmers. Our governments have a duty to take care of them and this is what they do.
      And the EU is already buying 70 % of all exports of the 50 least developed countries.
      How much is Brazil contributing ?
      Brazilian maths will say 50 %, except that 70 plus 50 doesnt equal 100.

      Guess who would lie, as usual ?

      Smile……

      Simple.

    • Guest

      And the US and EU tells Brazil…..
      ….should you wish over time to become a developed country, it is time to act as developed countries do.

      All the strategies you have taken in the past 50 years were wrong.

      This is why Brazil has the nickname of BOOM and BUST economy.
      Every time you were in a booming period you said…….this time is the good one for long term growth.
      The problem was that every time, you were WRONG, so far !

      The only strategyes you have taken that have been sustainable are :
      – corruption, corruption and again….corruption at all levels..
      – wealth inequality
      – lack of basic education for every one.
      – “forgetting” to invest in infrastructure, except when you got loans from outside.
      – tax evasion.
      – hunger and poverty.
      – impunity to your corrupted politicians.
      – impunity to your policemen who killled thousands and thousands of innocents, sometimes even mass killings as it happened a few months ago.$
      – hiding your own mistakes by accusing the developed nations.
      – accusing the developed nations of agriculture subsidies when you subsisdies heavily ALL your agribusiness sector with no export tax. And you also subsidy the agribusiness sector and farmers with loans of 6 to 10 % when other sectors must borrow at 40 % or more. Individuals must borrow at 80 to 150 %, but your farmers at 6 to 10 % !
      – allow

    • Guest

      Only ONE ?
      Brazil: Here Lies José Dirceu, Consumed by Ambition and Arrogance.

      Yeah, right.
      Show me kust ONE politician who’s NOT commited to Ambition and Arrogance and Corruption may I add.
      Every politician is the image of the “PERFECT VIRTUE”.

    • Guest

      Brazil does What ???
      Brazil Tells the US and EU…

      TELLS ? 4th World Country TELLS ????

      What these guys are sniffing nowadys ?

      Brazil will fight with US and EU?

      Idiots still roaming the country. Soon Brazil will be upgrade to 5th World.

      I swear I saw that in the eyes of the Joze Dirdu.

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