At a time when important decisions are being made by the WTO, we are publishing a special release of strategic analyses and proposals for carrying out the negotiations in order to prevent the Doha round from leading to a dead end or to irreversible decisions.
This special release is made up of four reports designed to rally political leaders, professionals and associations around a new and much more vigilant approach to agricultural negotiations.
Otherwise there is a great risk of making unacceptable concessions that will jeopardize the future of millions of farmers in Europe and in developing countries. Let us not forget that agriculture provides employment and revenues for around 40% of the world’s population !
So, for the first time we are issuing an “Alert”, a precursor of one of the methods used to inform the public which the simulation and grading agency WOAgri has decided to create for 2007. The most difficult items on the negotiation agenda are presented, on the one hand, with the risks that an unsatisfactory agreement might create in terms of sound regulation of agricultural activities in the world, and on the other hand, the proposals of WOAgri.
Three other themes are developed :
› « Concerning the multilateral trade negotiations within the WTO »,
by Michel Jacquot, lawyer at Gide Loyrette Nouel
› « Doha : a strategy for the European Union to counter the United States? »,
by Jacques Carles, Delegate-General of WOAgri
› « One model can hide another, or the evasive strategy of the United States via the Carnegie Foundation »
Christine Lagarde, Minister for Foreign Trade provides insight in an interview about her point of view and we would like to thank her for this. She insists on the necessary renovation of the system of analysis that determines the course of international negotiations, a subject we hold dear. This commitment to greater precision in dealing with different realities seems essential to us and encourages us to believe that France, and by extension Europe, will defend more vehemently, not only our agricultural independence, but also the future of agriculture in developing countries without which sustainable balance cannot be envisaged in the short or medium term.
It is our fervent obligation not to let ourselves be blinded by the illusion that agriculture, services and industry are just a pack of cards that can be shuffled from one hand to the other like in a poker game where the only wagers are good intentions.
If we continue with this fools’ game it will lead to the sacrificing of humans for the sake of the crops they have produced. This is neither desirable nor possible unless we wish to abandon our identity and lose all our resources in one giant sweep of technocratic standardization.
The world has become a huge battlefield where objectors to growth and the supporters of liberalism fight to gain influence, using as weapons categorical statements created by these economic models which justify the strategies of the powerful.
We must remind ourselves that neither Europe nor France are equipped to oppose this flood of digitalized self-righteousness, which varies according to negotiations and the shameful bluffs of our main partner, the United States.
This is why WOAgri has made it its top priority to solve this problem, and results can already be observed, as you can see :
Three months after using as proof the so-called highly encouraging results of the World Bank model to flaunt the merits of the liberalization of agricultural exchanges, many people have recently recognized that this model has overestimated the gains for the poor countries. Better still, many believe these countries would have a lot to lose.
As early as the beginning of last December we denounced these results and we can demonstrate today that the Carnegie model, presented in Geneva and used last March in London during the latest simulations of the WTO is just a “dressed up” adaptation of the World Bank model. Other substitute models of the same caliber are bound to appear with the “discrediting” of the official models.
The goal is always the same: to advocate the continued liberalization of exchanges without asking too many questions as to the consequences and without taking the time for concerted action in order to set up a worldwide regulatory system for agriculture which is the most sensitive of human activities.
It is to get away from this scandalous uncertainty that we are creating the NAR (New Agricultural Regulations) economic model according to a completely new code of construction. We are integrating fundamental criteria such as effects on poverty, climatic and marketing risks, and innovation while casting aside textbook hypotheses like pure and perfect competition or the illusion of an “average consumer” on a global level. It’s more difficult but so very necessary !
In spite of pressure from those who are anxious that their intellectual structure is being threatened with demotion, leading economists have joined us and our team, now made up of ten people, is working with a true sense of urgency on a planetary level. We will inform you of the fruits of our work at each stage and you can already see the code of construction and the architecture of this model on our website.
Finally, after deciphering the American system of agricultural subsidies1, we can demonstrate that marketing loans and counter-cyclical payments are the main factors that are destabilizing agricultural markets throughout the world and that it is possible and essential that they be treated according to article 6 of the Hong Kong agreement that provides for “the parallel elimination of all forms of export subsidies and disciplines on all export measures with equivalent effect” !
This strategic option is the only one that will allow Europe and the developing countries to lift the negotiations out of the fools’ game they have become submerged in. The article “Doha: a strategy for the European Union to counter the United States?” describes the mechanisms and methods to find a way out like the creation of a “brown box” that would consolidate the amber and blue boxes. This is the only condition that will allow us to escape from the divisions that work as traps when each country, and especially the United States, uses them as “loopholes for protectionism ».
We are engaged in a long and difficult combat, on a planetary scale. No sooner begun, and many leaders and associations concerned with social issues have joined us as sponsors all offering, each one within its own sector, to support our actions.
In this I see a very encouraging sign and a reason to continue our fight, which means convincing the public and building an alternative international environment where freedom of exchange will lead to real development and not the liturgical service of ideological certainties.
Chairman of WoAgri
1 « X-Ray of US subsidies to agriculture », www.momagri.org