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France Resists U.S.-EU Ag Trade Concessions

The U.S. is offering to lower subsidies and EU members say they will lower tariffs, but France is skeptical.

The U.S. and European Union are looking for ways to restart the Doha round of WTO trade talks, but France is critical of the concessions being discussed.

The U.S. has offered to lower farm export subsidies if the EU lowers tariffs on agricultural products, and EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson proposed a 39% cut in tariffs on agricultural products in October 2005.

France was unhappy with the proposed cut when the European Commission proposed it in 2005, and although Mandelson has said the EU could cut more if the U.S. matched with cuts to farm subsidies, France claims the European Commission does not have the right to negotiate on states' behalf beyond the 39% cut.

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