WTO-TradeTalks 1stLd-Writethru 07-21 Web

EU offers to cut tariffs 60%

The European Union said today it would slash farm tariffs by 60 percent as part of a new global trade pact, a deeper cut than it has ever offered.

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson told reporters at the World Trade Organization that the offer was meant to kick-start an important week of global commerce talks on a new global commerce pact.

The 27-nation bloc has previously proposed to cut the tariffs by 54 percent.

"We’ve decided to help the negotiations this week get off to a strong start by raising the average cut in our agricultural tariff," Mandelson said. "That is a very considerable improvement on our own part, but of course it’s light years away from any effort we’ve previously made in a trade round."


Rich and poor countries have clashed repeatedly in the seven-year WTO talks known as the Doha round. Developing nations want more agricultural openings, while the U.S., EU and others seek better access for their manufacturers and banks.

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