World trade talks are back on the radar this week with farm trade negotiators trying to reach agreements on several key issues toward reaching an agreement by the end of 2005.
Negotiators kicked off a week of meetings today (Nov. 15) to hammer out details on technical issues relating to cutting tariffs and farm subsidies to continue building groundwork for world trade talks.
According to the Associated Press, the agenda for the week includes "issues such as administration of tariff quotas, domestic support for farmers and ensuring that food aid does not contain hidden subsidies, trade officials said Monday."
A special subcommittee will be set up this week to deal with a proposal from four West African countries for the elimination of export and domestic subsidies by rich producers like the United States and the European Union. Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad and Mali had asked for cotton to be considered separately. The subcommittee is a compromise solution that keeps the cotton talks within the overall farm trade negotiations, AP reports.
Negotiators hope to have a framework completed by July on the contentious issues of how to cut tariffs and farm subsidies.
Agriculture has been the main sticking point in the Doha round of negotiations.