Iowa Public Television


Just Walk Away

posted on June 16, 2006

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Saxby Chambliss met with World Trade Organization Director Pascal Lamy this week. After the meeting, Chambliss said Congress would be more likely to renew presidential trade negotiating authority if U.S. trade chief Susan Schwab "walks away" from a bad deal in the Doha round of trade talks rather than try to sell a weak agreement to Congress.

Georgia Senator Chambliss said Schwab would prove "to folks in agriculture they have a real friend" by walking away from a bad deal. As reported by DTN, the Senator declined to say whether walking away would mean an end to the Doha round.

During their meeting, Chambliss said Lamy remarked that he expects the European Union to "come back with something different" in the agriculture offer before the trade ministers meeting later this month.

According to DTN, Chambliss reminded Lamy that under the current farm bill, the United States could spend $22.5 billion per year on farm subsidies. He also noted that while the U.S. is not spending that much because of high prices, farmers expect to have that amount available as a safety net if prices were to drop.

Tags: agriculture news trade