The EU is expected to take the lead in WTO negotiations on agriculture as the focus has shifted from the US to Europe on farm policy reform.
The EU is fully committed to the WTO process for reducing
trade-distorting agricultural subsidies and a progressive reform of
agricultural policies. However, it also expects its WTO partners to
take into account the European model of agriculture, which puts
great emphasis on non-trade concerns, such as environmental
protection, food security and rural development.
The new US Farm Bill, adopted in May 2002, is
seen as trade distorting by the trade partners who expressed
concerns that it will endanger WTO talks on agriculture. Trade
partners have warned the US that the developing countries depending
on farm exports will be hit particularly hard by the new law
The US Farm Bill will boost agriculture spending
by 70 percent over the next 10 years and increase subsidies to US
farmers. US farmers will receive 173.5 billion dollars in subsidies
over the next ten years.