Beef Farmers Relieved At WTO Collapse

IRELAND - The collapse of the WTO talks last Thursday can only be met with a sigh of relief by Irish farmers, especially beef farmers
calendar icon 27 June 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
This round of talks had always been billed as the one that would lift millions out of poverty through more trade but it faced problems from the start, mainly over agriculture.

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson seemed determined to broker a deal at the expense of EU farming, beef in particular.

While his negotiating skills failed last week, he had managed to bring EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel on side and she appeared to be doing little to save the beef industry.

Nail in the coffin

Following one of the worst springs for beef finishers for years, a bad WTO deal would surely have been the nail in the coffin for many farmers.

Even before word had come through that the talks had collapsed, farm commentator Michael Murphy was writing beef farming off as being "the past" at the Moorepark open day.

The collapse of the talks now makes it unlikely that a deal can be agreed by the summer. This would have been necessary to complete a detailed agreement by the end of the year.

With the US presidential race starting next year, it is now believed that the political sensitivities in any deal mean no agreement can be concluded until there is a new incumbent in the White House.

Source: Irish Independent

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