The EU and the US were on Friday accused of double standards on trade and forcing millions in the world's poorest countries into poverty through tariffs and quotas in markets including textiles.

The report by international aid and development organisation, Oxfam, says the pair "rob" billions of dollars a year from less-developed nations through tough trade restrictions.

Called Rigged Rules and Double Standards, the hard-hitting report names the EU as the key culprit and the US as its chief accomplice. High tariffs and subsidies are estimated to cost poor countries $100 billion a year - twice as much as they receive in aid.

The report says that if Africa, East Asia, South Asia and Latin America each increased their share of world exports by one per cent, 128 million people would be lifted out of poverty.

Report author, Kevin Watkins, said: "Governments of rich countries constantly stress their commitment to poverty reduction. Yet the same governments use their trade policy to conduct what amounts to robbery against the world's poor.

"Rich countries are fierce advocates of liberalisation in developing countries, while retaining high trade barriers against exports from the same countries."

Oxfam is now calling for poorer countries around the world to be given generous trade conditions and better access to foreign markets, not just in textiles but other markets as well.