fb - voice of agriculture

Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding the Failure of WTO Trade Talks in Geneva

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 1, 2014 – “The American Farm Bureau Federation is disappointed that the World Trade Organization has failed to reach an agreement that would have sped the flow of goods through international borders. Every country would have benefitted had they moved forward with the Trade Facilitation Agreement agreed to last December in Bali,” American Farm Bureau Federation Bob Stallman said today.

“Improving slow and out-of-date customs procedures supports all kinds of international trade, but agricultural goods need speedier passage across borders, especially,” Stallman said. “Time spent waiting at borders too often results in a substantial decline in food quality and direct economic losses to U.S. producers. When trade slows, the American farmer suffers.

“We know that some countries want greater freedom to subsidize and stockpile food. The Trade Facilitation Agreement reached in Bali came about only after negotiators agreed that some countries should be allowed to subsidize and stockpile food for citizens who have difficulty paying for it. Now, it seems, India wants a final agreement on that issue before they will move forward with customs reform. We understand their eagerness to settle that issue, but this intransigence represents a failure to honor previous promises.

“We thank Ambassadors Froman and Punke and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for their efforts to reach acceptance of the Protocol of Amendment to bring into force the Trade Facilitation Agreement. We are optimistic about future prospects under their leadership.”

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Contacts:   Will Rodger
(202) 406-3642
willr@fb.org
  Kari Barbic
(202) 406-3672
karib@fb.org