Johanns Travels to Australia in Part to Get Support for WTO Talks

Ag secretary travels 'down under' this week along with U.S. Trade Ambassador. They want Australia's help in restarting trade talks.

Ag Secretary Mike Johanns and U.S. Trade Ambassador Susan Schwab travel to Australia this week to take part in the 20th anniversary meeting of the Cairns Group - a collection of 18 ag exporting nations.

Wire services report that as part of the event Johanns and Schwab will be talking with Australian officials about teaming up to restart the stalled World Trade Organization Doha Round trade talks. Johanns has called Australia a leader in free trade and notes the country's long support of market access.

Australia and New Zealand, both Cairns Group members, have eliminated farm subsidies, and continue to push for ending subsidies across the board as part of their WTO trade position. Johanns notes that Australia has long been partnered with the United States in talks at WTO regarding ending subsidies and opening markets.

The Doha Round of the trade talks stalled several weeks ago.

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