British PM urges to scrap agricultural export subsidies

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has renewed his call for an end to EU farm subsidies, urging that all agricultural export subsidies be scrapped by 2010.

Writing in the Financial Times, Blair set out an agenda on Africa, climate change and trade with the developing world as he enters the final phase of Britain's chairmanship of the G8 and European Union.

He urges World Trade Organisation members to agree at their talks in December to scrap export subsidies within five years.

”It should be possible at Hong Kong to set a deadline of 2010,” Blair was quoted as saying by Forbes. “Failure to make progress could even be fatal for the trade round.”

France, the main beneficiary of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy via 9 bln euro of subsidies to its farmers, has in recent months repeatedly refused to heed Blair's call for a renegotiation of the CAP's terms.

In the FT, Mr Blair also calls for a stronger dialogue with China.

He was due to arrive in Beijing last night for talks between China and EU leaders, amid an intensifying trade dispute between Beijing and Europe over import quotas for Chinese textiles.

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