WASHINGTON, DC - The National Cotton Council (NCC) joined commodity, farm and dairy organizations in urging the President to remain firmly in support of the U.S. proposal that reductions in domestic support for U.S. agriculture must be met by commensurate gains in market access and reductions in trade-distorting policies by trading partners.
The letter to President Bush, and shared with top officials at USDA, the U.S. Trade Representative and Congressional leaders reminded the Administration that the U.S. offer on domestic supports is generous and always has been presented as contingent on meeting market access objectives. It stated that recent comments by representatives of other countries appear to indicate that the U.S. offer on domestic supports has been “pocketed” and will not be met by acceptable offers on market access.
The groups reminded U.S. negotiators that the agriculture community will not support deeper cuts than already proposed. Further, the groups indicated the U.S. proposal on domestic supports must be scaled back if the proposed gains in market access are not achieved. The groups also cautioned that the treatment of “special” and “sensitive” products must be limited to ensure gains in market access achieved through tariff reductions are not eroded.
NCC Chairman Allen Helms said the NCC was pleased to join other organizations in making clear the “U.S. offer on domestic supports is substantial and must be met by equally meaningful market access commitments.”
The Clarkedale, AR, producer also noted that the groups are encouraging newly acceded members of the WTO, including China, to take a more active role in ensuring that market access commitments by developing countries are commensurate with their emerging importance as the markets of the future.