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EUROPE: EU, Brazil Join Efforts For Balanced Agricultural Subsidies

The European Union (EU) and Brazil have submitted a joint proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to promote agricultural production and food security measures so that subsidies in the sector do not distort the market.

“The objective is to limit market distortions, to ensure a global level-playing field for farmers while taking into account particular needs of developing countries,” said the EU in a statement.

While the least developed countries would be exempt from any subsidy limits to allow for the development of their farming sector, other developing countries could also support their farmers more generously and take more time to adapt to the new guidelines, the EU said.

Brussels also stressed that, given the importance of cotton to many developing countries, there are specific proposals for subsidies that distort the market in this sector. According to the note, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay have already expressed their support for the initiative.

“This proposal should lead other WTO members to follow our example and so ensure a level playing field for all farmers in the local, regional and global markets,” said Phil Hogan, EU’s Commissioner in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The bloc is also pushing for solutions to fishing subsidies, e-commerce and domestic regulation of services.

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