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WTO Trade Negotiations Committee

Statement on behalf of the Cairns Group

The European Union has this week missed another opportunity to show leadership in the Doha Development Agenda.

The Round is captive to the lack of political will in the European Union to deliver on the Doha mandate for agricultural market access. This cannot be pushed to one side if we are to succeed in Hong Kong and in concluding the Round.

The European Union must accept its obligation of leadership. Accepting this obligation will enable us to secure and to deepen reductions in agriculture domestic support proposed by the United States. It will also unlock the Doha Round negotiations on manufactures and services.

The Hong Kong Ministerial meeting must lay a strong foundation for the conclusion of agriculture negotiations early in 2006.

Members should therefore work intensively in the short period remaining before Hong Kong to ensure progress extends significantly beyond the July 2004 Framework. Failure to achieve such progress by Hong Kong would put at risk the prospects of securing the conclusion of negotiations in 2006.

It would also risk an important opportunity to shape the agricultural policy agenda in the medium term, both in the EU and through the development of the next US Farm Bill.

The Cairns Group has worked for nearly two decades towards genuine reform of world agricultural markets. We are convinced that any effort to side-step or undermine the high level of ambition in the Doha mandate would risk the viability of the entire Round.

We remain committed to ensuring this high level of ambition is respected, and to thereby ensure the development dimension of this Round is delivered.

We will continue to work constructively in the weeks ahead to that end.

Last Updated: 24 February 2016

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