This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index
BBC Learning English Launch BBC Media Player
  • Help
  • Text only
 
You are in:Learning English > News English > Words in the News
 
Learning English - Words in the News
 
14 May, 2004 - Published 12:30 GMT
 
'Make or break' in the world trade talks
 
WTO logo

Trade Ministers meet in Paris today for what could be a make or break moment in world trade talks. Last September trade talks collapsed in Cancun, Mexico with developing nations blaming richer countries for failing to address agricultural subsidies. This report from John Moylan:

Listen to the story

Export subsidies cost the EU several billion dollars a year. Critics argue they encourage Europe’s farmers to dump produce on world markets. Developing countries say that drives down prices, hitting the incomes of farmers. So the EU’s offer to eliminate the subsidy was almost universally welcomed. In return, it wants the US to make similar moves and for other nations to cut tariffs and increase quotas to provide more access for EU goods.

That is what Trade Ministers from around the world will be considering at a series of meetings in Paris. As they’re not full World Trade Organisation or WTO meetings, no deal can be agreed. But with key countries represented, the hope is for some indication of whether progress can be made.

But time is running out. The WTO has set a deadline of July for ministers to agree upon an outline deal, aware that after that, the US will be focussed upon forthcoming elections: and some fear if this window of opportunity is missed it could be months and possibly years before another trade deal can be done.

John Moylan, BBC, Paris

Listen to the words

subsidies
monies paid by a government to help a company or public service

to dump
to put something somewhere carelessly

eliminate
completely remove

tariffs
taxes on goods coming into a country

quotas
the required, or allowed quantity of something

goods
products

deal
agreement, arrangement

focussed upon
concentrating on

window of opportunity
passing moment of possibilty

 
 
 
SEARCH IN LEARNING ENGLISH
 
 
 
LATEST STORIES
 
Other Stories