China asks US, Europe to cut agriculture subsidy
China, on Monday asked the United States and Europe to substantially slash their domestic agriculture subsidy to ensure a successful Doha Round of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks.
Describing the agriculture subsidy offered by the US and the EU as the "major obstacle" in pushing forward the Doha Round of WTO negotiations, China's Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai urged the two major trading giants to relent.
"The major obstacle to the Doha Round lies in the inaction of the US and Europe, the world's largest trading partners, to substantially cut their tariffs on farm produce imports and cut the huge subsidies for agriculture," Bo said at his maiden press conference since taking over as Commerce Minister in 2004.
Terming China as a "responsible and enthusiastic player" in the global trade arena, he said the country will make further efforts along with other major trading partners to push for a successful conclusion of the Doha Round.
The Doha round of the WTO talks ground to a halt in July 06, because developed nations wished to continue subsidising their farmers, while developing nations disagreed.
The minister also urged Japan to reduce its farm produce tariff which stands at 41.8 per cent, saying it is much higher than China's 15.2 per cent.
Since entering the WTO as a full-fledged member in December 2001, Bo said the country has made marked progress in reducing its import duties and further opening up its market to the outside world considering the nation's actual situation.