Council Calls Reforms Critical to Successful Doha Outcome
Washington, DC The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today applauded proposed reforms to U.S. farm policy included in the recently introduced Food and Agriculture Risk Management for the 21st Century Act (S. 1422/H.R. 1882). The proposal would help to expand trading opportunities and increase market access in the global economy for U.S. businesses, farmers and agricultural workers. The NFTC emphasized that the bill, also referred to as FARM21, is a good example of willingness on the part of Congress to develop a responsible Farm Bill that will reduce or eliminate agriculture subsidies, helping to better position the United States in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations.
“We commend the leadership of Senator Lugar and Reps. Kind, Flake, Crowley and Reichert for proposing legislation that would reform U.S. food and agriculture policy,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “With leaders around the world currently engaging in negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda, it is important that the United States be equipped with the best bargaining chips available to ensure a meaningful breakthrough and successful outcome that will be in the nation’s economic interest.”
The NFTC praised members of Congress for taking a careful look at provisions included in the draft 2007 Farm Bill and developing alternative proposals that would call for substantial elimination and reduction of export subsidies, tariffs and other trade distorting policies on agricultural goods.
“Our agriculture policy is in need of serious reform if we hope to achieve a breakthrough on Doha,” said Mary Irace, NFTC Vice President of Trade and Export Finance. “The window of opportunity to successfully conclude the Round is narrowing, and examining our own agricultural policy is critical to send a positive signal to our allies about the future of agreements on global agricultural reform.”
“There is an urgent need to move forward swiftly on both the Farm Bill and Doha, and we are encouraged by the attention Congress is giving to reshaping U.S. agriculture policy to make U.S. crops more lucrative and widely available in foreign markets,” Reinsch concluded.
Advancing Global Commerce for Over 90 Years
The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.