Trade Negotiations Gear Up To Resume

There are indications the World Trade Organization (WTO) will resume the Doha round negotiations, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) says.

Last week WTO Director General Pascal Lamy told members of the group, “As we all know, informal contacts among members, both in Geneva and beyond, have been going on since the summer. The number and frequency of these contacts have now increased, which I think is another sign of this growing and widely shared desire to make the most of every opportunity to lay the foundations for further progress.”

Lamy urged members to begin “expert” talks on technical issues as a prelude to full-scale negotiations between governments. He stressed negotiators must make “significant” progress by early spring if there is to be any hope of concluding negotiations by the end of 2007.

NCGA has consistently voiced its support for and commitment to the WTO process. At this time, NCGA is encouraging the WTO to move beyond the organization's focus on farm support in favor of a more balanced approach that includes market access.

“NCGA has told Congress and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab that our trade partners must provide more market access for U.S. agriculture exports,” says NCGA President Ken McCauley. “We continue to support the current U.S. proposal, and in the meantime, we will continue to work with President George W. Bush’s administration and industry groups in securing beneficial bilateral trade agreements.”