The European Union's reforms of the CAP under the Agenda 2000 programme are unlikely to survive any new agreement to reduce subsidies in the food and agriculture sector. This is the view of US Under Secretary of Agriculture Gus Schumacher. He told the Oxford farming conference that the Agenda 2000 agreement was "a good beginning, but not a durable policy for the future". He argued that its changes are only minor, with the final agreement representing "a retreat from the original set of reforms advocated by the European Commission". In particular, the EU would have to develop a food and agriculture policy which would work without export subsidy. Such payments are likely to be outlawed as part of any agreement in the new round. "On the issue of export subsidies, Europe is clearly isolated," he argued. "The rest of the world disagrees with Europe on this, and that includes the US, Cairns Group, and developing nations." While the EU claimed that it had shown itself willing to compromise on the export subsidy issue at the ill-fated Seattle meeting, this issue alone was the stumbling block which prevented progress on the agricultural issue. According to Schumacher, the EU had been unable to show the necessary "flexibility" to agree a time frame for eliminating export subsidies. The problem, he is convinced, lies with the member state governments. He believed that the Commission's basic position on this issue was not far from that of the US. He observed that the Commission had been "unable to convince some of its member states" to agree to a suitable form of wording which would seek the "elimination" of export subsidies over time. {{PROVISIONS }}