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Minister: U.S., Europe need to cut agriculture subsidy for successful Doha talks

Source: Xinhuanet | 03-12-2007 16:40

Special Report:   2007 NPC & CPPCC sessions

BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Bo Xilai, China's Minister of Commerce, on Monday urged the United States and Europe to slash their domestic agriculture subsidy in a bid to ensure a successful Doha round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks.

The major obstacle to the Doha Round lies in the inaction of the U.S. and Europe, the world's largest trading partners, to substantially cut their tariffs on farm produce imports and cut the huge subsidies for agriculture, said Bo at a press conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress.

He said China is a responsible and enthusiastic player in global trade and will make further efforts along with other major trading partners to push for a successful conclusion of the Doha Round.

The Doha round of the WTO talks ground to a halt last July because developed nations wished to continue subsidizing their farmers, while developing nations disagreed.

The minister also urged Japan to reduce its farm produce tariff which stands at 41.8 percent, saying it is much higher than China's 15.2 percent.

He said that China has made marked progress in reducing its import duties and further opening up its market to the outside world considering the nation's actual situation.

China's average tariff stands at 9.9 percent on the whole, about one fourth of the world average of 39 percent, while its tariff on farm produce averages 15 percent, compared with the average of 60 percent in the world.

"China has also shown great courage in opening up 100 of the 160 service sectors which the WTO calls for opening to foreign competition," Bo said, adding the developing countries opened up an average of 54, while the U.S. opened 101.


Editor:Du Xiaodan