Press Release
August 7, 2006


Noting the recently suspended Doha round of negotiations in World Trade Organization (WTO), Senator Edgardo J. Angara today called for carrying out real pledges in trade agreements to set developing countries agricultural trade direction and policy, the country included.

Angara also noted that WTOs Doha round of negotiations was suspended because of contradicting stands between developed and developing countries.

No wonder Doha talks collapsed because the present international trading system weighted against developing countries. The developing countries unrelentingly insisted on increasing subsidies to their farmers and reducing tariffs, Angara said.

Angara said that developed countries put up tariff and non-tariff barriers to exclude from their markets agricultural products of developing countries.

What we call free trade is not necessarily fair trade. Trade, in order to be fair, must benefit both developed and the developing nations. It should allow domestic industries to enjoy the fruits of trade liberalization and improve the lives of people in the developing world, he continued.

Angara also said that the government must always take aggressive action to protect our agriculture and oppose all forms of barriers to its development.

We are becoming a laggard in terms of establishing bilateral trade agreements with our trading partners. In 2000, the Department of Agriculture fought for the entry of Philippine mangoes, pineapples and bananas to Australia, which to this day continues to exclude these products. The department also fought for our domestic poultry industry from the massive entry of cheap chicken parts from the United States, said Angara who became secretary of Department of Agriculture from 1999 to 2001.

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