WTO proposal will force agriculture into difficulty

A draft declaration of the World Trade Organization will bring farm products importing countries, including Japan, to more hardships.

The draft declaration, delivered on August 24 to the world's governments scheduled to participate in the 5th Ministerial Conference of the New Round of multilateral trade talks in Cancun, Mexico, calls for tariffs to be further reduced or lifted altogether in the field of agriculture.

The draft declaration, concerning heavy-tariff agricultural items such as rice, requires a certain cut of the tariff or expansion of the import quota to importing countries (minimum access) or expansion of imports of other farm items.

What is expected for the New Round, however, is to establish fair and equal trade rules respecting each country's right to food security, stated Akahata on August 26.

Akahata criticized the draft declaration for falling short of making fair and equal rules because the New Round itself favors accelerating the liberalization of trade.

Akahata claims that the WTO will take advantage of the U.S. pressure to urge governments to accept the draft declaration. (end)

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