By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Smith says EU should not be afraid to reject a bad WTO deal

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, speaking in Luxembourg today where he is attending the Council of Agriculture Ministers meeting, said that the set of WTO proposals on the table in Geneva at present are not balanced and therefore not an appropriate basis for a deal at this time.

The Minister was speaking during discussions at the Council, following an update by Commissioner Fischer Boel on the current state of play of the Geneva negotiations.

Minister Smith added that the world has moved on considerably since the Doha Round started in 2001. In particular, the current negotiations do not take account of the radically altered international landscape in relation to food security and climate change. He said the Council should give itself the time required to reflect these important challenges in international trade policy.

In addition, Minister Smith said that the passage of the Farm Bill, and the political debate in the United States, raise serious doubts about the capacity of the US administration to deliver and follow through on a deal at this time. As such this is clearly the wrong time for the EU to attempt to finalise an agreement with the US administration.

"We should not rush into a bad deal to facilitate the US administration while ignoring the very real challenges ahead of food security and climate change. We must ensure that we retain an agricultural production base in Europe so that we can meet these new challenges both in the interests of the EU and of the world as a whole. We should not be afraid to say that we will not accept a bad deal and that we need more time to address these major issues," concluded Minister Smith.

Date Released: 24 June 2008