NCFC joined with a broad coalition of other agricultural organizations this week in sending a letter to the White House to express deep concern over the status and direction of the Doha Round of WTO trade negotiations. The letter came after reported comments of some Administration officials suggesting that the U.S. would trade concessions on U.S. agriculture for gains in non-agricultural market access and services. WTO trade ministers are expected to meet in Geneva next week in hopes of regaining momentum towards reaching a trade agreement before the end of the year.
The letter emphasized the previously expressed position of the organizations that cutting trade distorting domestic support must be paired with obtaining agricultural market access in both developed and developing countries. According to the groups, the discussion draft put forward earlier this year by Crawford Falconer, WTO ambassador from New Zealand and the chair of the ag trade talks, appears to provide little promise of truly significant gains in export opportunities for American agriculture.
The letter concludes, “[w]hile we continue to support a Doha agreement that reforms trade distorting agricultural practices and opens world markets to expanded agricultural trade, we urge you to reject any agreement that does not deliver real market access again in agriculture commensurate with our domestic support commitments.”