Key points of compromise text issued by WTO head

GENEVA, July 27, 2008 (AFP) – Here is a summary of key proposals put forward by the head of the World Trade Organization in a bid to break the deadlock among the 153 member states and finally secure a new global trade pact. AGRICULTURAL SUBSIDIES

Proposals drawn up by the WTO’s Director-General, Pascal Lamy, envisage sweeping subsidy cuts by rich Western countries that have often been accused by developing nations of undermining free trade and pushing their farmers into penury.

The biggest subsidisers will make the biggest cuts, notably the European Union which will have to slash its payments to farmers by 80 percent, and see its maximum subsidy threshold fall to a maximum of 24 billion euros (38 billion dollars).

Japan and the United States will cut their overall trade-distorting domestic support (in official WTO parlance) by up to 70 percent, taking the total US subsidies to 14.5 billion dollars.

Other developed countries will cut support by 50-60 percent.

These cuts will be implemented within five years.

They only refer to trade-distorting subsidies (linked to a price or production level), not to other payments such as those to protect the environment.

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