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U.S. Groups Push Back on WTO
Topic Global Management
Key Words World Trade Organization (WTO) subsidies, tariffs
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News Story

Twelve U.S. commodity and farm groups warned the Bush administration that they will only support any deal that comes out of the WTO’s Doha Round if negotiators correct what they call “the severe imbalance” between proposed subsidy and tariff cuts.

The group represents American soybean, corn, wheat, rice, milk, sugar, cotton, and other industries as well as the American Farm Bureau Federation.

U.S. negotiators told WTO last month that they will now accept an annual limit on overall trade-distorting support of less than $16.3 billion, on the condition that the other countries offer improved access to their markets for U.S. industrial and agricultural products.

The American group is particularly concerned about sensitive products, special products, and a new safeguarding mechanism. The group feels that the current arrangement offers little hope of achieving balance between what the U.S. is being asked to give up in reduced domestic supports and what the trading partners are offering in terms of increased market access.

Questions
1.

What is the World Trade Organization (WTO) and how is it related to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?

2.

Name three things American farm groups are concerned about in the negotiations of the most recent round of the WTO.

3.

Do some research on the WTO in your textbook and on the Internet. What are some reasons that groups support the WTO? What are some reasons groups oppose the WTO? In your opinion, is the WTO more positive or more negative for the United States and the world? Be prepared to debate your answer in class.

Source “U.S. Groups Push Back on WTO” Feedstuffs, Oct. 15, 2007 v79 i43 p3(1).
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