Oxfam reaction to President Bush’s comments on trade at the UN World Summit

Published: 23 November 2005

Nicola Reindorp, head of Oxfam's New York office said: We welcome the willingness by President Bush to cut trade distorting agricultural subsidies that hurt farmers in poor countries, but he has said this before. Now action is needed.

Nicola Reindorp, head of Oxfam's New York office said:


We welcome the willingness by President Bush to cut trade distorting agricultural subsidies that hurt farmers in poor countries, but he has said this before.  Now action is needed.


Furthermore, this should not be conditional on reciprocal demands of market access from developing countries. They need time and space to adjust their trade policies and should not be forced to open markets too fast. This trade round was meant to be about putting the needs of poor countries first: not demanding tit-for-tat concessions.

Also, the US and EU need to stop using each other as an excuse for inaction. We are less than three months away from the Ministerial in Hong Kong: unless rich countries show leadership and genuine willingness to make concessions we will not get a pro-development outcome in December.

President Bush’s statement recognizes the importance of trade and development.  A successful development round will need the involvement and leadership of rich country leaders.  To alleviate global poverty, trade negotiations need to focus on development needs rather than just transactions around commercial interests.

Contact Information

For further information contact:
Caroline Green at 202 321 7858 or Brendan Cox on 858 205 8717