[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 15 September, 2003, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Cancun: Winners and losers
The WTO Cancun summit has ended in frustration and deadlock. BBC News Online looks at some of the groups which may have gained and lost from the outcome.

Losers: Brazilian farmers

Farmers in Brazil will be one of the big losers from the failure of the trade talks to tackle agricultural subsidies.

Brazil has one of the biggest and most productive agricultural sectors in the world.

It one of the world's biggest producers of citrus fruits, coffee, and soybeans, as well as a major cattle producer.

But its farmers are frustrated by the big subsidies and lack of access in many key markets, including the United States.

Brazil had tried to include agricultural subsidies in separate negotiations on a Free Trade Areas of the Americas, but this has been rejected by the US.

Winners: Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers

India is the world's largest producer of generic drugs.

Many of these drugs are urgently needed in other developing countries, especially in Africa, to fight Aids and other epidemics.

But commitments made at the last round of trade talks would have restricted their ability to export these drugs to third countries without breaching patent protection rules.

Now, under a deal announced just before the Cancun talks - but to be implemented in the next six months - developing countries will have the right to import such drugs from India and other cheaper manufacturers.

Big Western pharmaceutical companies, however, have insisted on safeguards to prevent the medicines being re-exported to the rich countries.

Winners: South African Aids patients

South Africa has the most Aids cases in Africa.

But the government has not had the money to pay for the expensive medicines that can arrest the course of the disease.

Some, including the President, had also questioned the effectiveness of such Western medicine.

Now, under the deal announced just before the Cancun summit, South Africa will be able to import cheap medicines to help the millions of people suffering from the virus.

There will still be problems in many parts of Africa in distributing the medicines, and ensuring that they are stored and used safely.

Winners: European farmers

European farmers are among the most heavily subsidized in the world.

The excess food they produce is often sent to developing countries at low prices, undermining the poorer countries own agriculture.

The EU has tried many times to reform the system of farm price supports - the Common Agricultural Policy.

But it has always refused to agree to phase them out entirely.

Now it appears that small farmers in Europe will have their rural way of life preserved for some time.

Losers: American factory workers

The US manufacturing sector has increasingly relied on exports.

Under the plan that had been proposed by the US during the Cancun trade talks, tariffs on manufactured goods would have been gradually reduced to zero for both rich and poor countries.

This could have boosted US exports to developing countries, many of whom have protected their industrial sectors from foreign competition.

Now US manufacturers will face increasing competition in their home market from products made overseas, but will not find it easier to sell their own exports abroad.




RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific