Farm groups urge Tai to take up ‘fresh start’ at WTO |

Farm groups urge Tai to take up ‘fresh start’ at WTO

A coalition of farm groups on Monday sent U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai a letter urging her to become involved in “a fresh start” at the World Trade Organization.

“We believe the negotiations are at a crossroads, and that the post-MC12 environment in Geneva is conducive to efforts — already under discussion among some members — to make a fresh start,” the farm groups said.

“We would welcome the creation of a forum at the WTO that would facilitate a productive discussion at the WTO, not only of the traditional core issues — market access, domestic support and export competition – but also emerging trade-related issues, such as the contribution of trade liberalization and innovation-friendly regulatory approaches to agricultural sustainability and climate change mitigation. If the current structure of WTO talks does not allow for such blank-slate negotiations, we encourage you to develop alternatives to address these issues.”

The groups also said, “Finally, a critical element of agricultural trade liberalization will be an effective enforcement mechanism. Indefinitely extending the block on appellate body appointments or agreeing to reforms that weaken dispute settlement will be detrimental to U.S. agriculture producers and future discussions on agricultural trade issues.”

The letter was released by USA Rice.

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