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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

EU Offering Nothing

That is the view of Neil O'Brien, from Open Europe.

Developing countries stand to gain hugely from a reduction of the EU's agriculture tariffs. But the EU is not offering a real-terms cut in its trade barriers at all. A recent World Bank study (Anderson and Martin, November 2005) shows that the EU's current WTO offer on agriculture will have almost no benefits at all for developing countries because of the EU's plan to exclude "sensitive" products from tariff cuts.
So what a surprise, the EU is all mouth and no trousers. And it gets worse.
Peter Mandelson trumpets the fact that the EU gives 100% "duty-free" access to imports from the 50 smallest least developed countries (LDCs). In practice, only 4% of the LDCs' exports to the EU get the duty-free access because of the EU's complicated "rules of origin".
So if we want to be Tough on Poverty, Tough on the causes of Poverty: Get rid of the EU.

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