NAWG and 11 other agricultural groups sent a letter to President George W. Bush Thursday saying any reduction in American agriculture’s domestic support because of the ongoing Doha negotiations must be accompanied by corresponding market access successes.
“America’s farmers and ranchers are extremely concerned about the present situation in the Doha round WTO agricultural negotiations,” the letter read, in part. “Reductions in, and limitations on, domestic support for U.S. agriculture are only acceptable if the negotiations yield an important net gain for American farmers and ranchers through commitments on market access and other trade-distorting policies by our trading partners.”
The letter continued: “Under these circumstances, Mr. President, we believe that it is important to make clear that American agriculture will not support any deeper cuts in domestic support than those already proposed by the administration. If negotiators are forced to scale back the level of ambition from the U.S. proposal on agricultural market access in order to reach an agreement, the level of ambition in cutting trade-distorting domestic support must be commensurately reduced from the U.S. proposal.”
The letter also emphasized the need for “sensitive” and “special” product declarations to be limited in order to preserve the market access gains achieved through overall tariff reductions.
Other groups that signed on the letter include: the American Farm Bureau Federation; the American Soybean Association; the American Sugar Alliance; the National Barley Growers Association; the National Corn Growers Association; the National Cotton Council; the National Milk Producers Federation; the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council; the USA Rice Federation; the US Canola Association; and the Wheat Export Trade Education Committee.
The letter was also sent to Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, United States Trade Representative Nominee Susan Schwab, Ambassador Richard Crowder and Members of the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture.