EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson has called on President Bush to veto any extension of the farm bill after World Trade Organization talks collapsed this week. In response, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman and his organization state it's necessary to extend the farm bill and extend trade promotion authority to keep WTO talks alive and stand against EU's attempt to make the
In a media call Thursday Stallman explained if drastic changes are made to farm bill programs, the
"The reason is clear; the negotiations are not dead," Stallman says. "Our only negotiating leverage consists of our domestic programs. Our markets and tariffs are already low."
Stallman recognizes the repercussions of the
"We're never completely immune to challenges, but at least less susceptible," he states.
Ongoing bilateral and regional trade negotiations will benefit from extending trade promotion authority, Stallman adds. Currently TPA is slated to expire
Negotiations are underway with several countries.
Timeline from here
Stallman says farmers benefit from knowing as soon as possible about the future of farm policy. He says Farm Bureau members are contacting their members over the August recess to potentially co-sponsor legislation to achieve FB's goals.
With November elections, it would be difficult to pass anything yet this year. In addition, those elections could change the dynamic of Agriculture Committee leadership. Stallman maintains that agriculture always remains a non-partisan issue and that both sides of the aisle were supportive in U.S. Trade Representative's negotiating strategy in WTO talks.