Farm Groups Ask USTR for “Fresh Start” With WTO

USA Rice released a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai from ag groups asking her for a “fresh start” at the World Trade Organization.

“We believe negotiations are at a crossroads, and the current environment is conducive to a fresh start,” the groups say in a letter. “The groups are asking for a forum at the WTO that would facilitate discussion of the traditional core issues as well as emerging trade-related issues like trade liberalization and innovation-friendly regulatory approaches.”

They also say if the current WTO structure doesn’t allow for “blank-slate” negotiations, the groups want her to develop alternatives to address these issues. “Finally, a critical element of agricultural trade liberalization will be an effective enforcement mechanism,” they say.

“Indefinitely extending the block on appellate body appointments or agreeing to reforms that weaken dispute settlement will be detrimental to America’s agricultural producers and possible discussions surrounding agricultural trade issues.”

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