Iowa Public Television


Trade Influences on Farm Bill

posted on April 13, 2007

USDA Secretary Mike Johanns says ignoring the World Trade Organization when writing the farm bill amounts to letting the WTO set U.S. agriculture policies and could shut the U.S. out of foreign markets.

In a speech before the National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas School of Law this week, Johanns said the WTO has struck down U.S. programs on cotton, declaring them an unfair subsidy, and is reviewing U.S. corn and rice policies.

He said, "It makes no sense to write farm policy that paints a bulls-eye on the back of our farmers." He added that scrutiny by the WTO is a fact of life and should not be ignored. "We're either going to write our policies in the U.S. with this in mind or we're going to let the WTO do that by striking out portions of U.S. farm policy it doesn't approve," he said.

Tags: agriculture Congress government markets news policy trade USDA