Eighteen months ago at Cancun, rich countries promised African cotton farmers that the WTO would solve all the problems being caused by US subsidies. Despite the fine words from US Trade Secretary Robert Zoellick, nothing has changed for African farmers. The US has put ‘cotton’ on the WTO negotiating table – but only to buy time to continue supporting its cotton farmers at the expense of the world’s poorest countries. If agricultural negotiations proceed as planned, a new agreement could enter into force as late as 2008. The US might not even have to implement the agreement until 2013. At this snail’s pace, there will be no African farmers left to cheer the end of US cotton dumping.
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