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USDA official says WTO proposal allows EU three times the level of U.S. agriculture supports

(Monday, March 10, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Northeast Midwest Institute via IATP: A draft proposal by Stuart Harbinson, chair of the World Trade Organizations agriculture negotiations, would reduce U.S. supports from $19 billion to $12 billion per year, but allow the European Union (EU) to spend more than $42 billion per year.

In recent remarks, USDA Special Counsel David Hegwood said, This is simply unpalatable for the United States. He said the United States is prepared to bring agricultural supports down as far as the Harbinson proposal would require, but only if the EU brings its support down to that level as well. The WTO will make a decision on the proposal by March 31.