In remarks delivered on October 25 during a news conference held by the American Business Coalition for Doha, Cal Dooley, President and CEO of the Food Products Association (FPA), made the following comments:
“International trade is critical to the future growth of the US food and agricultural industry. Our nation’s agricultural commodities and food products are competitive on the world market, but we are severely disadvantaged by the tariffs imposed by countries around the world. The World Trade Organization’s Doha round of trade talks are the only opportunity we have to see significant reductions in the tariffs faced by US companies, and the creation of a level playing field for the free international trade in food products.
“The trade agreements being sought in the Doha round of trade talks are designed to generate global economic growth. These agreements not only will help the world’s poorest countries, but also will expand market access for the US food industry.
“The upcoming trade talks in Hong Kong are only a few weeks away, so it is vital that we now move forward in resolving major agricultural issues. FPA and our Member companies strongly support the efforts of the Administration to make real progress on breaking the deadlock that currently exists in agricultural negotiations.
“US Trade Representative Rob Portman’s recent proposal—that the United States cut domestic farm subsidies and export subsidies if similar cuts are made by other countries—is a bold step forward to ending trade- distorting subsidies, here in the US and in countries around the world. Similar calls for fundamental reform of current US farm policy and an end to trade-distorting subsidies have been made by both President Bush and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns.
“The Food Products Association applauds the Administration for its leadership on this issue. Clearly, our nation’s leaders understand that now is the time for such policy reform. Such bold moves will reassert the United States’ leadership on international trade issues, which will, in turn, facilitate progress on agricultural negotiations in Hong Kong.”
The Food Products Association (FPA) is the largest trade association serving the food and beverage industry in the United States and worldwide. FPA’s laboratory centers, scientists and professional staff provide technical and regulatory assistance to member companies and represent the food industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, food security, nutrition, consumer affairs and international trade.