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EU Ag Commissioner Visits Washington

Mariann Fischer Boel met with U.S. legislators to talk about the Doha round and the farm bill.

During a visit to the U.S. last week, European Union agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel met with legislators and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns to talk about the Doha round of World Trade Organization talks, the 2007 U.S. Farm Bill, and other trade issues.

Meeting with members of the Senate and House agriculture committees, Boel asked about the likelihood that Congress would extend President Bush's fast-track trade promotion authority and discussed the U.S. farm bill. Boel also met with Johanns on Thursday.

Speaking at WashingtonD.C.'s Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Boel related some of her views on globalization and the U.S. role in Doha talks.

"The 2007 Farm Bill should correct mistakes made in 2002, not reinforce them. The world is looking to the US for a clear signal here," she says. The mistakes she refers to deal with the move away from the more market-oriented approach of the 1996 Farm Bill.

She also encourages a farm bill that would help a renewal of the Doha round.

"Globalisation will make further progress even without a deal in the Doha Round," she says. "But in that scenario, one of the main vehicles for that progress would be bilateral trade deals. These have their place. But the poorer developing countries will never be able to stand their ground as firmly in one-to-one talks as they can around the table in Geneva."

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