Ag leaders are at WTO Ministerial Conference to discuss hot topics

The World Trade Organization’s 12th Ministerial Conference finished up yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ag leaders from around the world spoke about challenges and policies in global trade that are related to the industry.

“So you’ve you’ve got discussions ongoing about domestic support levels, market access, how to improve that. Public stockholding, which has become a real contentious issue that deals with countries that may subsidize grain production then hold it, definitely has a trade-distorting impact depending on how it’s used, so there’s a lot of discussion on that. And also, the safeguard mechanisms, how countries can respond to import surges.”

Dave Salmonsen, the American Farm Bureau’s Senior Director of Government Affairs, says the Conference will also address mounting global food supply concerns.

“So, there’s a real effort to get countries to say they’re not going to engage in any kind of export bans. And also, they want to make sure that countries are freely selling product into the World Food Program for humanitarian assistance.”

Finally, Salmonsen says they will be reaffirming that all nations are committed to making sure sanitary standards are science-based and do not have protectionist or restrictive features. This is to make sure they are not exceeding limits on trade-distorting subsidies and other measures that could impact trade.

We will be sure to keep you updated as we learn more about what came out of this year’s Conference.


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