Agreement at the WTO talks in Geneva
The WTO website statement about the agreement is here: "Round-the-clock meetings produce ‘historic’ breakthrough". Here is the text of the agreement: "Text of the ‘July package’ — the General Council’s post-Cancún decision".
Forbes carries an Associated Press report on some of the elements of the agreement: "Update 5: WTO Negotiators Reach Tentative Accord".
- "In agriculture, the document agrees to eliminate export subsidies and other forms of government support for exports, while making big cuts to other subsidies. It includes a "down payment" that would see an immediate 20 percent cut in the maximum permitted payments by rich nations.
The highest agricultural import tariffs will face the biggest cuts, although no figures have yet been agreed. Nations will have the right to keep higher tariffs on some of the products they consider most important.
Tariffs on industrial products will also be cut according to a formula, but the exact details have yet to be established. Developing countries will have longer to make the changes.
The deal also approves the launch of new negotiations on trade facilitation - "further expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods" by streamlining customs procedures.
Developing countries in particular have been congratulating themselves for forcing issues onto the agenda that they say were ignored by rich nations in the past - such as the devastating effect of U.S. cotton subsidies on producers in Africa."