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WTO ministers set to vote on declaration

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WTO ministers set to vote on declaration


A final draft deal is on the table at the WTO conference in Hong Kong. The breakthrough comes after a tense night of negotiations. The text proposes that all nations end farm export subsidies by 2013. Agriculture has been the top obstacle standing in the way of a potential agreement. All 150 WTO member states must approve on the document in the hours to come.

An earlier EU offer to end farm subsidies by 2013 was rejected with big agricultural producers like Brazil saying that it was far in the future and demanding an earlier date of 2010. The draft also retains an earlier proposal that all rich nations end help to cotton farmers by 2006. The subsidy issue has become emblematic at the ministerial conference. Developing countries have called for them to end saying that would send a clear signal of richer nations true willingness to reach a pact that helps the poor.
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