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China Pays Close Attention to New US Farm Bill

China is paying close attention to the new Farm Bill signed by US President George W. Bush last week which will allow subsidies of up to 190 billion U.S. dollars to the country's farming sector, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation and the Ministry of Agriculture said Tuesday.

A joint ministry statement said China had noticed that the European Union, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and many members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) had all expressed discontent and protested over the Bill.

The Doha Ministerial Declaration of the WTO has authorized members to begin a new round of negotiations over the trade liberalization of agricultural products.

"We think the U.S. Bill will further distort international trade of agricultural products, and deviate from the U.S. Government's promise on agricultural trade liberalization, thus having a negative effect on the new round of WTO talks on agricultural products," said the statement.

China would closely follow developments in the matter, and reserve the right to take further action under WTO rules, said the statement.

(People's Daily May 22, 2002)

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