Trade negotiations policy
(a) FindingsCongress finds that—
on a level playing field, United States producers are the most competitive suppliers of agricultural products in the world;
exports of United States agricultural products accounted for $54,000,000,000 in 1995, contributing a net $24,000,000,000 to the merchandise trade balance of the United States and supporting approximately 1,000,000 jobs;
increased agricultural exports are critical to the future of the farm, rural, and overall United States economy, but the opportunities for increased agricultural exports are limited by the unfair subsidies of the competitors of the United States, and a variety of tariff and nontariff barriers to highly competitive United States agricultural products;
international negotiations can play a key role in breaking down barriers to United States agricultural exports;
(5) the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture made significant progress in the attainment of increased market access opportunities for United States exports of agricultural products, for the first time—
restraining foreign trade-distorting domestic support and export subsidy programs; and
developing common rules for the application of sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions;
that should result in increased exports of United States agricultural products, jobs, and income growth in the United States;
(6) the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture did not succeed in completely eliminating trade distorting domestic support and export subsidies by—
allowing the European Union to continue unreasonable levels of spending on export subsidies; and
failing to discipline monopolistic state trading entities, such as the Canadian Wheat Board, that use nontransparent and discriminatory pricing as a hidden de facto export subsidy;
during the period 1996 through 2002, there will be several opportunities for the United States to negotiate fairer trade in agricultural products, including further negotiations under the World Trade Organization, and steps toward possible free trade agreements of the Americas and Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC); and
the United States should aggressively use these opportunities to achieve more open and fair opportunities for trade in agricultural products.
(b) Goals of the United States in agricultural trade negotiationsThe objectives of the United States with respect to future negotiations on agricultural trade include—
increasing opportunities for United States exports of agricultural products by eliminating tariff and nontariff barriers to trade;
leveling the playing field for United States producers of agricultural products by limiting per unit domestic production supports to levels that are no greater than those available in the United States;
ending the practice of export dumping by eliminating all trade distorting export subsidies and disciplining state trading entities so that they do not (except in cases of bona fide food aid) sell in foreign markets at prices below domestic market prices or prices below their full costs of acquiring and delivering agricultural products to the foreign markets; and
encouraging government policies that avoid price-depressing surpluses.
(Pub. L. 99–198, title XI
, § 1123, Dec. 23, 1985
, 99 Stat. 1481
; Pub. L. 104–127, title II
, § 269, Apr. 4, 1996
, 110 Stat. 975
Section was enacted as part of the Food Security Act of 1985, and not as part of the Food for Peace Act which comprises this chapter.
1996—Pub. L. 104–127 amended section generally, substituting present provisions for provisions relating to initiation and pursuit of agricultural trade consultations among major agricultural producing countries, providing for sense of Congress concerning objectives of such consultations, and requiring annual reports by Secretary of Agriculture on progress of such consultations.
Agricultural Trade Negotiating Objectives and Consultations With Congress
Pub. L. 106–200, title IV, § 409, May 18, 2000, 114 Stat. 295, provided that:
“(a)Findings.—Congress finds that—
United States agriculture contributes positively to the United States balance of trade and United States agricultural exports support in excess of 1,000,000 United States jobs;
United States agriculture competes successfully worldwide despite the fact that United States producers are at a competitive disadvantage because of the trade distorting support and subsidy practices of other countries and despite the fact that significant tariff and nontariff barriers exist to United States exports; and
a successful conclusion of the current World Trade Organization agricultural negotiations is critically important to the United States agricultural sector.
“(b)Objectives.—The agricultural trade negotiating objectives of the United States with respect to the current World Trade Organization agricultural negotiations include as matters of the highest priority—
the expeditious elimination of all export subsidies worldwide while maintaining bona fide food aid and preserving United States market development and export credit programs that allow the United States to compete with other foreign export promotion efforts;
leveling the playing field for United States producers of agricultural products by eliminating blue box subsidies and disciplining domestic supports in a way that forces producers to face world prices on all production in excess of domestic food security needs while allowing the preservation of nontrade distorting programs to support family farms and rural communities;
the elimination of state trading enterprises or the adoption of rigorous disciplines that ensure operational transparency, competition, and the end of discriminatory pricing practices, including policies supporting cross-subsidization and price undercutting in export markets;
affirming that the World Trade Organization Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures applies to new technologies, including biotechnology, and that labeling requirements to allow consumers to make choices regarding biotechnology products or other regulatory requirements may not be used as disguised barriers to trade;
“(5) increasing opportunities for United States exports of agricultural products by reducing tariffs to the same levels that exist in the United States or to lower levels and by eliminating all nontariff barriers, including—
restrictive or trade distorting practices, including those that adversely impact perishable or cyclical products;
restrictive rules in the administration of tariff-rate quotas; and
other barriers to agriculture trade, including unjustified restrictions or commercial requirements affecting new technologies, including biotechnology;
eliminating government policies that create price-depressing surpluses; and
strengthening dispute settlement procedures to ensure prompt compliance by foreign governments with their World Trade Organization obligations including commitments not to maintain unjustified restrictions on United States exports.
“(c)Consultation With Congressional Committees.—
“(1)Consultation before offer made.—
In developing and before submitting an initial or revised negotiating proposal that would reduce United States tariffs on agricultural products or require a change in United States agricultural law, the United States Trade Representative shall consult with the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives.
“(2)Consultation with congressional trade advisers.—
Prior to and during the course of current negotiations on agricultural trade, the United States Trade Representative shall consult closely with the congressional trade advisers.
“(3)Consultation before agreement initialed.—Not less than 48 hours before initialing an agreement reached as part of current World Trade Organization agricultural negotiations, the United States Trade Representative shall consult closely with the committees referred to in paragraph (1) regarding—
the details of the agreement;
the potential impact of the agreement on United States agricultural producers; and
any changes in United States law necessary to implement the agreement.
“(4)Disclosure of commitments.—
Any agreement or other understanding addressing agricultural trade with a foreign government or governments (whether oral or in writing) that relates to a trade agreement with respect to which Congress must enact implementing legislation and that is not disclosed to Congress before legislation implementing that agreement is introduced in either House of Congress shall not be considered to be part of the agreement approved by Congress and shall have no force and effect under United States law or in any dispute settlement body.
“(d)Sense of the Congress.—It is the sense of the Congress that—
granting the President trade negotiating authority is essential to the successful conclusion of the new round of World Trade Organization agricultural negotiations;
reaching a successful agreement on agriculture should be the top priority of United States negotiators; and
if by the conclusion of the negotiations, the primary agricultural competitors of the United States do not agree to reduce their trade distorting domestic supports and eliminate export subsidies in accordance with the negotiating objectives expressed in this section, the United States should take steps to increase the leverage of United States negotiators and level the playing field for United States producers.”
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