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Answer BMR on USDA Policy of Paying for Concentration in Ag.

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Econ101

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BMR:
Tell me how the USDA run progams make sure only small farmers get program money and not the biggest farms getting the lions share?

The simple answer is that they are not. Here is the argument:

PRESS RELEASE

October 12, 2005

CONTACTS:
Ben Lilliston, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, (612) 870-3416
Kathy Ozer, National Family Farm Coalition, (202) 543-5675
Karen Hansen-Kuhn, ActionAid International USA, (202) 835-1240, ext. 6
David Waskow, Friends of the Earth - United States, (202) 222-0716

FAIR TRADE GROUPS ASK CONGRESS TO OPPOSE BUSH TRADE PROPOSAL

PROPOSAL WOULD CONTINUE MARKET DEREGULATION, UNSUSTAINABLE OVERPRODUCTION AND DUMPING OF AGRICULTUREAL COMMODITIES

Washington, DC - Family farm, religious, conservation and other fair trade organizations sent a letter to key members of Congress calling on them to resist a specific Bush Administration proposal that would change rules at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to shift U.S. farm payments from one category to another. The letter charged that the proposal would do nothing to curtail costly overproduction and dumping of agricultural commodities onto world markets below the cost of production, and would perpetuate the current agricultural market deregulation policy that hurts family farmers in the U.S. and around the world.

The groups' letter comes on the heels of an announcement by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Portman that the Bush Administration would support a 60 percent cut in trade distorting farm payments in exchange for concessions by other countries.

Next week, the WTO will hold its final General Council meeting in Geneva before its December Ministerial in Hong Kong. Negotiations are currently taking place under a "Framework Agreement" reached last year. The Framework includes a USTR proposal to alter the WTO Agreement on Agriculture to allow U.S. counter-cyclical farm payments into what is known as the Blue Box. The Blue Box was originally established to allow less trade distorting farm programs that limit production, but counter-cyclical payments have nothing to do with limiting production. Last year, a WTO dispute panel ruled that counter-cyclical payments must be classified in the Aggregate Measure of Support under the Amber Box, which is capped.

"The USTR's proposal would perpetuate the current U.S. agricultural trade policy that has pushed farmers off the land here in the U.S. and around the world," said Dennis Olson of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. "This approach has become increasingly indefensible both here and abroad. It's time for real reform that would sensibly regulate agricultural markets and curtail costly and unsustainable overproduction and dumping."

George Naylor, Iowa farmer and President of the National Family Farm Coalition, said that, "without a supply management system and fair prices, farmers will inevitably expand their production and depress world market prices whether government payments are cut or re-labeled green or blue. The Portman agenda simply means more cheap commodities and fewer family farmers in the U.S. and around the world."

Karen Hansen-Kuhn of ActionAid International USA stated that, "Developing countries are right to be wary of opening their economies to cheap U.S. food imports that could flood local markets, drive farmers out of business and increase poverty. These proposals could have very real effects on people's lives and livelihoods, both in the United States and in developing countries. I doubt very much that developing country governments will be fooled by this so-called solution to the problem of U.S. subsidies. They will continue to insist on their rights to development and food sovereignty and to a real solution to the global commodity price crisis."

David Waskow of Friends of the Earth-United States said, "For too long, we've seen the negative environmental impacts of agricultural overproduction in the U.S. and the environmental harm caused in developing countries when dumping has pushed small farmers from their land. Unfortunately, the USTR Blue Box proposal will make things worse. It's a double whammy that shields the true nature of U.S. subsidies, while simultaneously sidelining environmentally friendly agricultural policies. USTR's Blue Box approach would also undercut the use of production limiting programs that would benefit the environment and help reduce overproduction and dumping."

Maria Riley of Center for Concern said, "The famous `boxes' in the Agreement on Agriculture, developed by the U.S. and EU as a protective framework for their domestic subsidies, mitigate against any meaningful reduction in subsidies. New mechanisms that do not jeopardize appropriate support for small farmers in the South and family farmers in the North are needed to address the subsidy problems."

As part of a July 2004 "Framework Agreement," the Bush Administration agreed to a 20 percent reduction in WTO limits to farm payments. However, the groups' letter cited several studies that have shown that expanding the Blue Box to include counter-cyclical payments could actually increase the United States' domestic subsidy payments above current levels.

"Through this revised definition of the Blue Box, the USTR seeks simply to shift counter-cyclical payments from Amber to Blue Box to continue current U.S. agricultural trade policy, which has failed either to reduce costly overproduction or to curtail dumping," the letter said. "As we head into the 2007 farm bill debate, we urge Congress to seek solutions to the real problems with the United States' agricultural trade policy, and not accept an approach that simply moves payments from one box to another in an effort to maintain business as usual," the letter concluded.

The letter with all signatories can be found at:
http://www.tradeobservatory.org.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pam Browning
Policy Coordinator
National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture
110 Maryland Avenue, NE, Suite 306
Washington, DC 20002
Phone and Fax: 202-544-5466
Email: [email protected]
http://www.sustainableagriculture.net/
 

Econ101

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Here is the Poultry industry's take on the same issue:



Stork Food Systems

Industry News Briefs

U.S. Poultry Industry Supports Bold U.S. Position In WTO

October 10, 2005 - "The bold position put forward this week by U.S. trade negotiators in the World Trade Organization Doha Development Agenda negotiations, puts the U.S. back in a strong offensive position," said James H. Sumner, president of the U.S.A. Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), an Atlanta-based trade association that represents the export interests of the U.S. poultry industry.

"The U.S. proposal for substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic supports should remove any excuses countries may have had for refusing to accept major reductions in tariff and non-tariff barriers," he said.

"We hope that the leadership demonstrated by the U.S. on the sensitive issue of domestic supports in agriculture will clear the path for a successful WTO Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December," Sumner said.

In a statement issued Monday by the 200-member, non-profit association, USAPEEC noted that it strongly supports U.S. efforts to bring about greater balance in world agricultural trade and an improvement in global market access opportunities for American farm products.

"The U.S. poultry industry depends heavily on exports today, but its export potential is severely impeded by trade barriers around the world," said Sumner


Source: staff

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Is there any wonder the public can't decipher what is going on? These policies and their consequences are sold as two different things. Spin wins. Whoever can get their message out the most and loudest wins. There are no consequence for politicians. They follow the big money.
 

Econ101

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This is an effort to stop the big payouts in agriculture, it is not my writing:



CALL YOUR SENATORS IN SUPPORT OF THE GRASSLEY-DORGAN BUDGET AMENDMENT

THE VOTE IS THIS THURSDAY - PLEASE CALL NOW

Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee voted to slash the Conservation Security Program (CSP) by $504 million over 5 years - which would bring new enrollments to this program to a grinding halt after 2006! CSP has been a major innovative step forward in our nation's approach to conservation and was sustainable agriculture's single biggest win in the 2002 Farm Bill.

WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW!

This coming Thursday (November 3), the Senate will vote on the PAYMENT LIMITATION REFORM AMENDMENT to the Senate's Budget Reconciliation Bill, to be offered by Senators Grassley, Dorgan and many of their colleagues. The Amendment will cap farm program payments at $250,000 for farms with two actively engaged spouses or farming partners, and it will eliminate a substantial portion of the huge cuts to CSP. The Amendment will also reduce the underlying bill's across-the-board commodity program cuts for the 2006 and 2007 crop years. This vote, which may be close, may be the biggest, most important vote on agriculture at the federal level in this Congress.
 

pointrider

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Hey Econ 101, send me an email. I am from Texas originally. Sure would like to talk to you. Thanks in advance!
 

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