CNA already has 15 international backers of Brazilian proposal against subsidies

04/09/2003 - 22h32

Brasília, September 5, 2003 (Agência Brasil - ABr) - The Agriculture and Livestock Confederation of Brazil (CNA) is seeking the support of private international institutions on behalf of the official Brazilian proposal that will be taken to the 5th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, next week, in Cancun, Mexico. The CNA defends the proposal of the G-20 (group of developing countries) opposing the subsidies rich countries grant their agricultural production in areas "that cause distortions in world prices."

Up to now, 15 private institutions have endorsed the document prepared by the CNA. The Confederation calls for greater access to world markets in order to compete on an equal footing with the rich countries in agrobusiness.

Farmers and ranchers in the United States and the European Union receive generous subsidies for what they produce. The CNA, together with the Brazilian government, calls for the rich countries to reduce their concession of agricultural subsidies. The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply, Roberto Rodrigues, has already affirmed that "if agriculture isn't negotiated, nothing will be."

Based on the same principle, the CNA launched the "Document in Support of the G-20 Framework for Agricultural Negotiations in the Doha Round of the WTO," to bring together private entities from all the countries in the group. That is, to reject the joint proposal presented by the United States and the European Union in favor of subsidies.

The head of the CNA's Department of International Affairs and Foreign Trade, Antônio Donizeti Bedraldo, considers the G-20 proposal timid in terms of opening markets, but it makes up for this failing in its focus on combatting agricultural subsidies. "The joint proposal for agriculture by the United States and the European Union simply accomodates the agricultural situations that already exist in these countries. It changes the appearance, but maintains the essence, of protectionism.

The agricultural sector of the G-20 is responsible for 12.2% of the Gross Domestic Product of the group. This figure is six times greater than that of the United States and the European Union. The members of the G-20, besides Brazil, are: South Africa, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Guatemala, Paraguay, Thailand, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, and Venezuela. (DAS)