Washington:The United States is prepared to make “enormous” cuts in farm subsidy spending limits and its barriers to foreign goods to reach a breakthrough next week in world trade talks, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said.
“We have already signaled our willingness to put an enormous amount of market opening and subsidy discipline on the table in the context of an agreement,” Schwab said in a speech to the Washington International Trade Association.“The question now is whether ... developing countries will reciprocate,” she said.
Schwab along with 40 top trade officials from around the world are headed to Geneva this weekend in the hope of reaching a breakthrough on agriculture and manufactured goods trade in long-running world trade talks.
World Trade Organization director, General Pascal Lamy has called the meeting, scheduled to formally begin on Monday and to potentially run for six days, the “moment of truth” for the Doha round, now in its seventh year.
The United States has been under pressure in the talks to cut its spending cap on trade-distorting farm subsidies to around $13 billion, which because of high prices and other factors is more than it spends currently.
Still, US farmers say they are being asked to give up more in government support than they would receive in new export income because many developing countries do not want to open their markets.
Schwab did not say how far the United States was prepared to cut its current WTO-cap on farm subsidy spending to reach a deal. Instead, she said the fate of the round largely depend on how much major developing countries like China, India and Brazil are willing to open their markets.