European Commission agriculture experts say recent developments in U.S. agriculture policy appear to move in the direction of further trade distortion. A study titled Monitoring Agri-Trade Policy singles out a new scheme in last year's U.S. Farm Bill known as the Average Crop Protection Scheme. The report says the ACRE program fails to take future international trade commitments into account.
The Commission pointed out that the new law seems to have been crafted without future World Trade Organization commitments in mind. If there was a high take-up of the ACRE scheme and prices were to fall, then expenditure could increase sharply above levels seen in recent years and the proposed ceilings for wheat, soybeans and corn could be breached.
The Commission serves as the EU's executive arm and negotiates foreign trade on behalf of the EU's 27 member countries.