Last Sunday, I put up a perhaps dramatically titled piece on farm subsidies, WTO, and other (much larger) sectors of the economy looking at agriculture subsidies as a road block to the successful completion of the Doha round of trade negotiations. Yesterday The Hill published another article on the very same subject:
U.S. trade officials are coming under pressure from the U.S. financial services industry and agriculture groups dueling for influence over the multinational trade talks that the administration hopes to close by the end of the year.
“For too long we’ve played second fiddle to agriculture,” said Ekrem Sarper, director of financial services for the Coalition of Service Industries. “We’re trying to show we’re a sector that matters and that needs attention paid to it.”
some lobbyists in the sector do see agriculture as holding up work on a services deal that could have a greater impact on the U.S. economy. One financial services lobbyist said the reality is that Brazil is not going to come forward on services unless the U.S. moves on agriculture. U.S. farm subsidies have been heavily criticized internationally.
Separately, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said this week that U.S. business groups should support a U.S. move to further cut farm subsidies, although Donohue added that the EU, Brazil and India should do the same. [Full Article Here.]
Again, let me say I don't think this general line of thought will cause much in way of difficulty for agriculture subsidies in the very near future. But that day is coming, both on the international front and domestically.