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Proposing an EU trade agenda to make poverty history

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Friday, 17 June 2005

Proposing an EU trade agenda to make poverty history

In the run-up to the G8 meeting in Gleneagles, this Oxfam brief proposes a EU trade agenda for both the multilateral and bilateral arenas, which will enable the EU to ‘make poverty history’. It points out that the EU must look towards its longer-term enlightened interests and rein in its search for short-term commercial advantage if real progress is to be made in 2005 on reducing poverty through trade.
The brief suggests that the EU trade agenda should:
- press at the WTO for an early end-date for export subsidies and reform of domestic subsidies which also contribute to dumping
- make sharp cuts in domestic sugar production and increase imports from the poorest countries at remunerative prices
- support the West African cotton initiative at the WTO and press for a solution to the cotton-dumping issue before Hong Kong
- promote the right of poor countries to decide their agricultural policies within WTO and regional trade agreements
- allow developing countries to choose the pace, scope, and coverage of tariff reduction in the NAMA negotiations, in line with their development needs
- at the WTO, agree to reduce EU tariff and non-tariff barriers to developing-country manufactured exports, and support LDC demands for duty-free, quota-free access to industrialised-country markets
- ensure that any Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries include the principle of non-reciprocity, and exclude the Singapore Issues, unless requested. The EU must also offer an alternative to EPAs
- stop pressing for basic public services to be included in the WTO services agreement
- support developing countries which wish to limit patent rights in order to ensure access to medicines
- regulate EU business in developing countries in order to increase social, economic, and environmental benefit
- offer substantial new trade-related aid, without economic policy conditions attached and without adding to the existing debt burden.
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