USDA Farm Bill Proposals Aim to Keep U.S. Ag Competitive

Ag Secretary Mike Johanns outline the USDA farm bill proposals for trade Thursday.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns detailed the USDA 2007 Farm Bill proposals dealing with international trade.

The proposals would increase funding for the Market Access Program; target funds to boost international markets for specialty crops; increase the U.S. presence within international trade standard-setting organizations; provide additional tools to respond to unfair trade practices and strengthen efforts to revitalize the agricultural sectors in fragile regions.

"During the Farm Bill Forums many participants voiced concern about interests from other parts of the world attempting to set our farm policy. We believe that the proposals we have put forward will put American agriculture on a more competitive footing for years to come," Johanns told the World Agricultural Forum. "The proposed changes to our commodity programs reduce trade distorting support. These initiatives stand on their own merits but they will also put U.S. producers in a more secure position under international trade rules."

Some features of the Trade Title include: adding $250 million over a decade to the Market Access Program to address inequities between subsidized and unsubsidized crops; support initiative to address sanitary and phytosanitary issues; and aiding market expansion for specialty crops.

For more on the USDA farm bill proposals, visit

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