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Trading Nations Haggle Over Agricultural Issues at WTO Talks


The complex negotiations between the European Union and several key trading nations over farm subsidies and tariffs got more difficult on Wednesday.

French officials said chief EU trade negotiator Peter Mandelson should not make any concessions on agricultural issues at talks with the United States, Brazil, India, and Australia.

Earlier, Mr. Mandelson said the EU's trading partners must make concessions on trade in services and industries if Europe is to make politically unpopular cuts to farm subsidies and tariffs.

Many of Europe's trading partners are pressing for cuts in subsidies that developing nations say have unfairly undercut their agriculture.

Agreement is needed before December, when WTO members meet in Hong Kong to approve a global trade deal.

Meanwhile, a news report says some African nations warn that WTO talks will ultimately fail unless there is action to cut cotton subsidies.

Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.

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