Agriculture Subsidies

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 12th February 2004.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what quantitative assessment her Department has made of the effect of EU and US agriculture subsidies on (a) gross national product and (b) per capita income in developing countries.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State (Trade), Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of State (Trade), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The best source of information on this topic are the large number of studies which have already been undertaken by international organisations such as the World Bank, IMF, UNCTAD and the OECD, and by charitable organisations such as Oxfam. The work of these organisations demonstrates through individual case studies the severe adverse effects which dumping of subsidised agricultural products on world markets can have on developing country economies. It remains, however, very difficult to make an accurate quantitative economic assessment of the overall impact of dumping of subsidised agricultural produce on developing country markets. The World Bank have, however, estimated that the comprehensive reform of all aspects of agricultural policies in developed countries could boost the income of developing countries by as much as $100 billion.

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