The American Farm Bureau Federation joined eight other organizations in reaching out to United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai in advance of the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), which will focus on the future work of the World Trade Organization (WTO), to call for needed reforms.
“The U.S. and global economy, and the livelihoods of workers around the world, depend on an effective WTO,” the groups said in a letter to Ambassador Tai. “A level multilateral playing field helps American manufacturers, services suppliers, innovators and farmers — large and small — by enabling workers and communities to compete more fairly in markets around the globe.”
AFBF supports advancing a comprehensive WTO reform agenda that tackles dispute settlement, special and differential treatment, distortive subsidies and state-owned enterprises. Reforms should also cover improved subsidy notifications, enhance transparency, and help harness trade to improve sustainability.
“The Administration can best support the international rules-based system and the WTO by making concrete proposals and partnering with allies who share market-based trade liberalization, modernization, and reform principles. Moreover, scheduling more frequent Trade Ministers meetings could help overcome impasses, support reforms and foster progress,” the letter said.
Before President Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in November, the American Farm Bureau Federation, along with 25 other organizations, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Ambassador Tai laying out priorities for improving trade between the countries.
The letter listed four recommendations to advance a more comprehensive and durable trade strategy with China including:
- Working to ensure full implementation of the Phase One agreement;
- Prioritizing outstanding structural challenges outside of the scope of the Phase One agreement;
- Reducing harmful Section 301 tariffs and broadening the tariff exclusion process; and
- Building on the administration’s efforts to improve U.S. ties with other key trading partners.
The letter states, “We support the Administration’s initial China trade policy priorities, including enforcing China’s existing commitments in the U.S.-China Economic and Trade Agreement (‘Phase One’), working to address long-standing structural concerns, and partnering with our allies to address non-market economy and other practices that adversely impact American businesses, farmers, and workers. Concrete steps advancing this agenda would restore greater certainty in both bilateral and global trade and economic affairs.”