Brazil, January 8, 2004 -- CropChoice news -- Associated
Press: Brazil and the U.S. should work together
to resolve the problem of agricultural subsidies, a
major stumbling block in discussions to form a Free
Trade Area of the Americas, Brazil's agriculture minister
Roberto Rodrigues made his comments shortly after meeting
with a delegation of 11 U.S. Congressmen lead by Illinois
Republican Rep. Dennis Hastert.
"If it is impossible to impede the concession
of subsidies, whether for political or social reasons,
then we should establish norms so they don't generate
excess export goods nor create problems for the market,"
The issue of agricultural subsidies in the U.S. and
Europe was a major reason negotiations on a global trade
liberalization agreement collapsed in Cancun, Mexico,
The subsidies have also fueled sharp differences with
Brazil over how to create a hemisphere-wide free trade
zone - the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
According to the agriculture ministry, Hastert explained
to Rodrigues that the subsidies were necessary to keep
families on their farms.