ZURICH – Today, the U.S. Trade Representative outlined a bold plan on agriculture to jumpstart multilateral trade negotiations known as the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda. With this proposal, Ambassador Rob Portman advocated for the adoption of President Bush’s vision of a tariff free world, and offered a specific plan on agriculture to help achieve this goal.
“Our ambitious initiative demonstrates a seriousness of purpose. The United States is committed to breaking the deadlock in multilateral talks on agriculture, and unleashing the full potential of the Doha Round,” Portman said.
“The U.S. proposal is offered in earnest,” he noted. “We are ready to make meaningful changes to American farm programs provided our trading partners deliver tangible market access for U.S. agricultural exports and our offer is also met by substantial reductions in trade-distorting measures, with deeper cuts by the biggest subsidizers.”
“Our time is short. I urge all of us to redouble our efforts and maximize the nine weeks left before the WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong,” Portman added.
The U.S. proposal ensures substantial reductions of trade-distorting support measures and tariffs, along with the elimination of export subsidies. In a first stage, WTO Members would phase-in deep cuts in trade-distorting support and tariffs, thereby creating effective new market access opportunities and reforms of subsidy policies. After a period of consolidation, an additional phase-out period would deliver on the elimination of remaining trade-distorting practices in agriculture.