Farm Policy: Get Serious About Cutting Subsidies

By July 17, 2007Economy, Trade

The House Agriculture Committee begins consideration today of the next farm bill, H.R. 2419 — details here — hence the timing of this news release quoting Cal Dooley of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, on the farm bill.

WASHINGTON, July 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a letter to Senate and House leaders, Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), today joined leading business groups in calling on Congress to reform federal farm policy.

“It is time for Congress to reform our outdated farm policy to better serve the needs of rural America and the entire U.S. economy,” said Dooley. “That is why GMA and this broad coalition of business leaders, who represent tens of millions of U.S. workers, are calling on Congress to
approve a farm bill that reduces subsidies and fosters an environment more conducive to eliminating trade barriers to U.S. products.”

The NAM joined in signing the letter along the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the National Retail Federation, the Information Technology Industry Council and the Retail Industry Leaders Association. (Good groups!) The letter calls for Congress to pursue three broad goals:

  • A reduction in excessive subsidies;
  • The elimination of substantial domestic and international agricultural market distortions;
  • The protection of basic U.S. farm policies from unwarranted World Trade Organization (WTO) attacks.
  • The NAM’s support for these goals is consistent with our position on the Doha round, that the agricultural tail has been wagging the manufacturing dog, i.e., given the fact that manufactured goods represent 70 percent of world merchandise trade, trade talks should not be dominated — and blocked — by farm interests. A letter from NAM and our European counterpart, BUSINESSEUROPE, making the case is available here.

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