New offers from the United States and European Union to cut aid to their farmers could herald a breakthrough in deadlocked global trade talks, just two months before a deadline for a framework treaty, ministers said Monday.
U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman gave negotiations a boost early Monday when he laid out a new proposal on agricultural tariffs and subsidies, saying the EU and Japan must now promise to do more to cut aid to their own farmers.
The EU responded with a proposal to make deeper cuts in subsidies to its own farmers. But the necessary reforms are expected to be a tough sell to farmers on both sides of the Atlantic who have profited from generous government handouts.
Agriculteral subsidies are among the worst things our government does. It wastes public monies, distorts the market, hurts consumers and is devastating to the third world. Anything that will help reduce or end this is something that I applaud.