France satisfied with US concessions at WTO

2nd August 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 2 (AFP) - French Agriculture Minister Herve Gaymard said Monday that France agreed to the weekend deal to save world trade talks in Geneva after the United States accepted substantial cuts in its system of subsidies.

PARIS, Aug 2 (AFP) - French Agriculture Minister Herve Gaymard said Monday that France agreed to the weekend deal to save world trade talks in Geneva after the United States accepted substantial cuts in its system of subsidies.

"The United States accepted controls on its agricultural policy which it had not accepted before. When the efforts to be made were evenly balanced, there was no longer any reason to hold out against (the deal)," he told France Inter radio.

Under the World Trade Organisation deal a deadline will be set for the total elimination of farm export subsidies.

Gaymard said "the main issue for negotiation from this autumn through December 2005 will be the speed of the dismantlement (of export subsidies). I think the deadline will be some time around 2015 or 2017, which will give us time to react.

"Export aid was very significant ten years ago in Eurpope, when it represented 30 percent of the farm budget. Now it is less than five percent," he said.

France was accused of hampering the chances of a successful outcome at the Geneva talks last week by holding out against an original draft text, but afterwards French officials said their obstinacy forced more concessions from the United States.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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