World Trade Organization
Current international trade negotiations
being held under the auspices of the World
Trade Organization (WTO) are likely to
have a major impact on the U.S. agricultural
sector. The Doha
round of negotiations, so called because
it is held as a part of the Fourth Ministerial
Conference in Doha, Qatar, is reaching a
critical phase. Late spring 2006 could bring
the clarification and tightening of ground
rules to reduce international trade barriers
in agricultural products and services.
While U.S. producers can expect to benefit
from greater access to foreign markets and
a reduction in export subsidies, some of
the Doha provisions could have major impacts
on U.S. domestic agricultural support programs.
In particular, they could result in a reduction
in direct payments linked to the production
of specific commodities.
Policy Brief" from the University
of Illinois FarmDoc program gives an overview
of the WTO, discusses the development of
international agricultural trade regulations,
and examines how upcoming changes in these
regulations could affect midwestern and
other U.S. farmers.
Further information on possible impacts of
WTO negotiations, particularly on commodity
programs, can be found at USDA's
Economic Research Service Web site.
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