U.S., EU spar at world trade talks

13 December, 2005
HONG KONG (Reuters) - The United States and the European Union sparred on Wednesday over farm subsidies, food aid and measures to help the world's poorest countries, souring world trade talks that were already in trouble.

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson warned that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) may even fail to achieve one of the few goals that seemed in reach for the six-day meeting in Hong Kong -- a package of measures to help least developed countries.

"If we cannot deliver on this, I really think we should ask what we are doing in Hong Kong," he told a news conference.

South Korean anti-globalisation protesters tried for a second day to reach the venue of the convention centre, but they were beaten back by riot police with pepper spray and batons.

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