Ag Groups Get Summary of WTO Status

USTR staff meet with at least Farm Bureau state presidents and NCGA trade team. Compiled by staff

Published on: Jul 12, 2006

In a speech to Farm Bureau state presidents, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab states there will be no deal in World Trade Organization trade talks without real market access. Jason Hafemeister, USTR's ag specialist on the talks, gave the same message to the National Corn Growers Association Joint Trade Policy A-Team Tuesday.

Ministers met in Geneva the last week in June. However, no real progress was made after negotiators found themselves bogged down over vast differences between proposals. The European Union and other countries wanted the United States to make deeper domestic subsidy cuts.

"It is naïve and unrealistic for other nations to expect U.S. agriculture to make real cuts in domestic supports without them also agreeing to reduce tariffs and open their markets. It has been clearly shown that the use of tariffs by other nations to protect their producers and markets is far more damaging to developing nations and the world economy as a whole than the use of domestic supports," American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said in a statement.

Stallman's statement expressed the lack of time facing negotiators. He explains if an agreement on specifics isn't accomplished soon, including the issues of market access, the "American Farm Bureau believes it will not be possible to finalize an agreement prior to our domestic deadlines related to trade negotiating authority."

WTO negotiators have pegged the end of July as the deadline for concluding the Doha Round talks.