The Office of the United States Trade Representative

Zoellick/Veneman Statement on EU CAP Policy
Contact: Aaron Lukas / Marci Hilt | (202) 395-3230 06/26/2003

Statement of
Robert B. Zoellick, United States Trade Representative
& Ann M. Veneman, Secretary of Agriculture

"Today's decision by the EU to reform its Common Agricultural Policy is a necessary step forward that we hope will provide a useful impetus to the WTO negotiations. We appreciate the work of Commissioners Fischler and Lamy, backed by EU Member States, in taking this action. We hope that the compromises that altered the original Commission proposal do not limit the EU's ability to contribute to global reform in agriculture.

"The next critical step is for the EU to promptly translate today's decision into meaningful WTO proposals in the three core areas agreed in the Doha declaration: harmonizing and substantially reducing trade-distorting domestic supports, eliminating export subsidies, and substantially improving market access through tariff reductions. Without new EU agricultural proposals in the WTO, the world cannot fully assess the impact of CAP reform.

"It is crucial that the EU press forward with significant agricultural trade reform promptly so that we can work with the EU and others to advance WTO negotiations at the next Ministerial Meeting in Cancun in September.

"The Doha Development Agenda offers the world a once-in-a-generation opportunity to spur economic growth and development. There is a broad consensus among WTO members that reforming global agricultural trade is key to Doha, because of agriculture's vital importance to so many countries, particularly developing countries.

"The United States believes that the WTO agricultural negotiations must be ambitious and provide real reform and improved market access for U.S. farmers and ranchers. That's why we've proposed to eliminate export subsidies, slash global agricultural tariffs, and cut $100 billion in annual trade-distorting domestic farm support in a fashion that harmonizes the limits at much lower levels. We've joined the voices of reform in the developing world in calling on others, particularly those with the largest subsidies, such as the European Union and Japan, to embrace reform."