June 26,2003

Grassley, Baucus on the European Union's Agricultural Reforms


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: European Union’s agricultural reforms
Da: Thursday, June 26, 2003

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, and Sen. Max Baucus, ranking member, each made the following comment on the European Union’s agricultural reforms announced today.

Here is Sen. Grassley’s comment:

“A step by the EU on agricultural reform is better than no step at all. I look forward toexamining further what is being presented by the EU as a major restructuring of its agriculturalpolicies. But the devil can be in the details, including the exceptions and flexible implementingprovisions. I hope that the EU’s reforms are substantial enough to permit the EU to commit to realprogress at Cancun. The United States has been, and remains, ready to negotiate real agriculturalreforms at the WTO.”

Here is Sen. Baucus’ comment:

“I am pleased that the European Union recognizes the need for reform of its CommonAgricultural Policy (CAP). Reform is long overdue. I am still reviewing the details, but this planclearly does not appear to go as far as it should. Some basic reforms -- such as movement towardsfull de-coupling of subsidies and production -- could constitute a good first step. Of course, the keywill be whether the reform plan gives their negotiators the necessary flexibility to agree to real andserious reform within the Doha Round talks. Anything less than that will, ultimately, be insufficient.”