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Daily News

October 27, 2005

The European Commission appeared to be headed on a collision course with France and other member states opposed to its position on the Doha agriculture talks after EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel received the full support from the EU’s College of Commissioners to go forward with a new proposal to liberalize EU agricultural market access.

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October 26, 2005

An Oct. 27 senior officials meeting in Geneva where the European Union had been expected to float a new offer an agricultural market access as demanded by the U.S. and other countries has been cancelled, and the EU proposal is unlikely to be circulated until after an EU heads of state meeting hosted by United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair, also scheduled for Oct. 27.

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October 24, 2005

European Union Trade Commission Peter Mandelson in a speech to EU development ministers today (Oct. 24) in Leeds said the EU must make an offer in multilateral talks on agricultural that would provide substantial improvement in market access.

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October 18, 2005

European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso signaled the EU would not move on agricultural market access until other World Trade Organization members show flexibility in other areas of the Doha round, such as industrial market access and services.

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October 17, 2005

U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman on Friday (Oct. 14) called on the European Union to match the U.S.'s offer to reduce domestic farm subsidies by making a substantive proposal to reduce agricultural tariffs in the stalled Doha round of the World Trade Organization talks. Portman said the offers made thus far by the EU and the G20 group of developing countries led by Brazil and India lacked sufficient ambition.

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French President Jacques Chirac has threatened that France could block a potential World Trade Organization deal on agriculture at the Hong Kong ministerial if it is unsatisfied with how a Hong Kong deal would reduce farm subsidies and tariffs, according to sources.

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October 13, 2005

GENEVA -- World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy today (Oct. 13) said that countries have narrowed their differences sufficiently over the past week to begin real negotiations on domestic agriculture subsidies, but had failed to do so on agricultural market access.

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October 12, 2005

GENEVA -- Brazil, India and other developing countries in the G20 on Oct. 12 reached agreement on proposals to reduce farm subsidies and agriculture tariffs in World Trade Organization farm talks.

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GENEVA -- U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and other trade ministers are planning to return to Geneva next week to continue efforts on finding common ground on agriculture and other areas of the Doha round after three days of intense talks failed to narrow differences between the U.S., European Union and other key countries.

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October 11, 2005

October 10, 2005

October 07, 2005

U.S. officials negotiating on agriculture in the Doha round face a challenge in placing meaningful constraints on future subsidies to farmers while providing the flexibility demanded by members of Congress writing a new farm bill in 2007, a U.S. trade official said in an Oct. 7 telephone conference.

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October 05, 2005

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) today (Oct. 5) said U.S. trade negotiators will not be able to agree to specific cuts of counter-cyclical payments at this point in the Doha round as demanded by the European Union, Brazil and other trading partners.

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October 03, 2005

The European Union has offered to reduce its allowable limit on trade-distorting domestic subsidies in agriculture by 65 percent under a new World Trade Organization agreement provided the U.S. agree to reduce its allowable limit of $19.1 billion by 55 percent, according to Geneva sources.

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U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman today (Oct. 3) announced that the U.S. government will appeal a World Trade Organization compliance panel decision issued last week that the foreign sales corporation (FSC) tax law still violates WTO rules.

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September 30, 2005

The government of Mexico today (Sept. 30) announced that it would partially open its market to U.S. exports of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) by up to 250,000 tons from Oct. 1, 2005 to Sept. 30, 2006, according to a notice in the Diario Oficial.

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A 50 percent reduction in allowable limits on trade distorting amber box subsidies is the outer limit of what the U.S. should accept in a World Trade Organization deal on agriculture, the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) said today (Sept. 30).

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September 27, 2005

Brazil late last week announced it will ask the World Trade Organization for authorization to impose trade sanctions on the U.S. within the next 30 days as retaliation for the U.S. failure to end various cotton subsidies found to have injured Brazilian producers, according to Brazilian officials.

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September 26, 2005

The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing Thursday (Sept. 29) to consider a free trade agreement (FTA) that the U.S. has negotiated with Bahrain, marking the first step in the process of congressional approval of the deal.

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The U.S. has many reservations about a tariff-reduction formula floated by the EU last week during talks in Paris of key World Trade Organization (WTO) members that would provide more flexibility for the EU and other importers as they reduce farm tariffs under a new WTO agreement, according to a U.S. trade official.

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