Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer has returned from a trip to China with a large delegation to discuss the world economic situation. As China is the U.S.'s fifth largest agricultural trading partner, trade issues were a subject that was addressed during the meeting and according to Schafer the countries agreed on a proper course of action.
"You know there is a tendency when times are tough to turn inward, to start putting up trade restrictions," Schafer says. "It's been proven over and over again that really gets you in trouble in the long run and it's not the thing to do. Both China and the United States had strong comments about not going into a protectionism mode."
Schafer says a way to avoid protectionism in the world is to complete a large multi-lateral round of trade negotiation. However the Doha Round of global trade talks remain stalled.