Doha Round Concludes Market Access for US Grains

US - "The US Grains Council (USGC) supports the United States’ position consistently stating that we want the following: market access; more clarity on the modality texts; and to know what products will be designated as special or requiring special safeguards in the designated tariff lines," said USGC President and CEO Thomas C. Dorr, in reference to the Doha Round of World Trade OrganiSation (WTO) negotiations.
calendar icon 8 December 2009
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Mr Dorr, along with USGC Trade Policy Advisory Team members, traveled to Geneva for meetings that coincided with the WTO Ministerial Conference. The team met with US government representatives and agricultural negotiators who attended the conference.

"Although there is expressed frustration with the delay in coming to an agreement, it is important not to overlook that the underlying tone is that trade expansion and its commensurate benefits, driven by many of the fundamental WTO initiatives, have been beneficial, particularly during the past year of financial turmoil," said Dorr.

The team met with USDA Under Secretary, Jim Miller, who informed the team of the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) strategy for the negotiations. Mr Miller told the group that last week’s Ministerial Conference was not a negotiating session, but that the Doha Round was in the end-game. He said his primary concern was still on whether the United States was getting adequate market access from the advanced developing nations for the price it is expected to pay.

"The feeling by most non-US observers is that 90 per cent of the WTO members wish to conclude the round, but believe the United States and India are ambivalent to the effort," said Mr Dorr. "However, USTR and USDA suggest otherwise. It appears that India may be more interested in becoming committed because of their interest in obtaining service agreements. The Council will continue to follow these negotiations closely as they directly affect the economic standing of the United States as well as the US farmer."

Representing Council members at the meetings included Phillip "Chip" Councell, Maryland Grain Producers Utilisation Board; Dale Murden, Texas Grain Sorghum Association; Dan Kidd, Montana Wheat & Barley Committee; and Dale Artho, United Sorghum Checkoff Programme.

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