BRASILIA, 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 said Tuesday.
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," Rodrigues said.
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, in September.
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.