HL Deb 13 December 1999 vol 608 cc18-9WA
Lord Judd

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their policy at the World Trade Organisation towards (a) zero tariff access for agricultural, textile and other primary and processed exports of the poorest countries to the markets of the industrialised world; (b) the elimination of subsidies on the agricultural exports of "northern" countries; and (c) flexibility in the pace of liberalisation of the economies of the poorest and most vulnerable countries. [HL128]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville

The Government's position is that (a) we will be pressing the EU to go ahead with its commitment to provide duty-free access for essentially all products from the Least Developed Countries as soon as possible. More generally, the Government will continue to call for zero tariffs to be applied to all goods from the Least Developed Countries as my right honourable friend the Prime Minister promised in his speech at Mansion House on 22 November; (b) the WTO negotiations on agriculture due to start in January 2000 will reinforce the pressures which already exist for continued reform of the CAP along the lines the Government are already pursuing—i.e. the phasing out of production-related support, including export subsidies, accompanied where necessary by targeted measures to conserve and enhance the rural environment and promote the rural economy; and (c) WTO agreements should continue to take into account the level of development of all WTO members, providing where necessary additional transitional periods and capacity building assistance to support implementation.