Squaring the circle
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CTA. 2003. Squaring the circle. Agritrade, March 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52935
Addressing the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on...
Addressing the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on February 4th 2003, Commissioner Fischler pointed out how agricultural trade can operate for or against the interests of developing countries. He highlighted the relative openness of the EU's agricultural markets to imports from developing countries compared to other major OECD markets, and the shift in EU agricultural support to less trade-distorting forms of farm support. He nevertheless noted that the major objective of CAP reform was to increase the competitiveness of the EU agricultural sector. Comment: Commissioner Fischler seemed to see no contradiction between the emphasis on increased EU competitiveness and the challenge of establishing agricultural trade rules which benefit developing countries and avoid undermining sustainable development. For Commissioner Fischler the key lies in the shift towards less trade-distorting and non-trade-distorting forms of support. However it is an open question as to whether all of these less trade-distorting and non-trade-distorting forms of support are in fact any less trade-distorting. It remains to be seen how the WTO negotiations can square the circle of on the one hand a form of agricultural support which systematically enhances EU price competitiveness on the back of continued high levels of public aid, and on the other a commitment to agricultural trade rules which are sustainable and which reduce inequality.