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Mexico to Boost Farm Subsidies

Move is a bid to remain competitive with U.S. when tariffs are lifted because of NAFTA.

November 19, 2002|From Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government said Monday that it would reintroduce crop support prices and increase other subsidies in a bid to quell fears that the nation's farm sector will be demolished by U.S. competition when most remaining agricultural tariffs are lifted in January as prescribed by the North American Free Trade Agreement.

President Vicente Fox said he would press developed nations to reduce their own farm subsidies while providing more distribution, technical and financial aid to Mexican farmers.

"My administration is protecting our farmers, helping them become more efficient, and ensuring that they have equal conditions ... as those of our major competitors," Fox said.

The key to the $10-billion program is the reintroduction of per-ton price supports for some basic grains.

Mexican farmers complain that they cannot compete with the U.S. government's much larger farm subsidy budget.

However, Mexico's subsidies are already higher on a per-ton basis than those in the U.S.

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