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A new solidarity trade policy

The new red-green government should stop taking the side of the United States and the rich in the agricultural negotiations. Norwegian Church Aid supports Thorbjørn Jagland's proposal for an "agricultural commission", to ensure a healthy Norwegian agriculture that does not harm farmers in poor countries.


The agricultural negotiations in the WTO have been predicted to be the round of developing countries. So far, there are many indications that the country that comes best from the negotiations is the United States. It is now incumbent on Norway and other countries to do what is possible to ensure that the outcome in Hong Kong takes into account the requirements and interests of developing countries. Ahead of the WTO ministerial meeting in Hong Kong, it will be exciting to see if the government has the will and courage to translate the good efforts we find in the Soria Moria Declaration into a "solidarity multilateralism".

The WTO's credibility and destiny as a multilateral institution will be in the balance ahead of and during the Hong Kong meeting. On the one hand, the negotiations under the Doha Mandate have been strongly influenced by the EU and the US trying to force a broad and deep integration in industrial goods / fish, services / investments and intellectual property rights, while maintaining unreasonable privileges – an extensive use of trade-distorting agricultural subsidies – which have built up in a formidable subsidy and export race between the two since World War II: OECD countries spent NOK 1800 billion on agricultural subsidies in 2004.

This suggests that WTO multilateralism is strongly influenced by European and American. . .

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