Bush sells wheat

Published: Thursday 15 October 1992

INDIA had the last laugh when US President George Bush announced at an election campaign meeting US $1 billion in subsidies to boost US wheat exports. India, whose request for purchase of one million tonnes of American wheat was rejected in March can now import 1.5 million tonnes of American wheat at subsidised prices. The US had turned down India's request because of is trade with Cuba and also it was not a "traditional customer".

Under the new package, 30 million tonnes of low-cost wheat will be exported to 28 countries according to the US government's export enhancement programme announced by Bush as a special vote package for the farmers.

So far, in this fiscal year, the US agriculture department has dispensed $900 million in such export subsidies to counter heavily subsidised exports by France and other European Community (EC) countries to the West Asia, China, Russaia and other markets. The EC has described the latest move as "belligerent", wondering if increasing farm support was compatible with the joint EC- USA pledge to secure a Uruguay Round deal.

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