Dairy groups comment on WTO trade talk failure
Aug. 1, 2008 - - The following statement was issued by Jaime Castaneda,
senior vice president and senior trade policy advisor for the National Milk
Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council, regarding the cessation
of the latest World Trade Organization negotiations in Geneva: “America’s dairy
farmers and processors had a great deal riding on whether a new WTO agreement
would result from the latest ministerial negotiations held this past week in
Switzerland. We hoped that an agreement could be reached that would win the
support of the dairy producer sector, as well as the many processors with a
strong interest in expanding U.S. exports of dairy products. On the other hand,
we also were apprehensive that a bad deal for our industry could be a possible
result. In the end, we believe it’s better to have no deal than a bad deal.
“We appreciate the hard work of our trade negotiators, led by Ambassador Susan Schwab and Chief Economist Joe Glauber, who were steadfast in their insistence that any successful Doha round agreement must create new export opportunities for our agricultural products, in both developed and developing countries. Without achieving that goal, there could be no agreement.
“The U.S. provided leadership by making a bold proposal to reduce its domestic farm supports, but that offer was not countered in any meaningful way with equivalent offers of additional market access, in particular from the developing countries. Negotiations cannot be one-sided if they are to reach consensus.
“On behalf of their members, USDEC and NMPF strongly urge trade negotiators to continue to try to work towards resolution of these important issues as soon as possible, in order to make greater strides towards the goal of a more balanced trading environment around the world.
“Both NMPF and USDEC will continue to support balanced trade agreements that represent new export opportunities for our dairy industry. Perhaps another day, that also will include a new WTO agreement.”