Grassley Addresses Wolfowitz Comments on Trade Talks
WASHINGTON – Today Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance,
responded to a question asked in his weekly conference call with farm broadcasters regarding the
World Trade Organization Doha Round negotiations and comments made by World Bank President
Paul Wolfowitz. The transcript follows here. The instructions for accessing the audio are below.
Dan Looker, Successful Farming Magazine:
It appears the Doha round isn’t going very well, it seems to be at a stalemate. Some press reports say
that Paul Wolfowitz of the World Bank would like the U.S. to make more concessions to get the
talks going. I wondered if we did do that and did not get any more concessions on market access and
agricultural trade, do you think Congress would approve any new World Trade Organization
agreement that might come out of those talks?
Senator Chuck Grassley:
Well, first of all, as a person that’s concerned about trade legislation and chairman of the committee
that has jurisdiction on it, I would ask Paul Wolfowitz, who I have a great deal of respect for, to keep
his nose out of trade issues. He’s got a bank to run that’s got plenty of problems – he’s got a full time
job there. Now, maybe he was giving an off-the-cuff remark to some, but if he made a made a major
speech along this line I very much resent his getting involved. We’re working through Susan
Schwab. He’s a friend of the Administration. He should work through Susan Schwab and he’s
undercutting her by making such statements. We’ve been trying to fortify the position of the United
States which was that we have kept Doha alive by putting a really aggressive agenda forward last
October. We have been beat up by several countries, particularly Brazil and India, since then,
because we ought to do more. Doha’s alive because of us and we ought to negotiate. And in answer
to your question, I’ve been very clear that I’m not going to bring in a Doha “light” agreement to my
committee, or another word that’s used is should we pass a minimalist agreement and say we’ve
done something when we’ve really done nothing. What we have to do for agriculture if we’re going
to give up our LDPs and loan programs, is we’ve got to have market access. And that means that the
62 percent tariff that the world has against agricultural products where we have about 12 percent,
have to very dramatically come down, and that reduction cannot be circumvented by a lot of products
being listed as sensitive, so there could be exceptions to even a general reduction of tariffs. We’ve
got to take a strong position; I think we have taken a strong position. My advice to Susan Schwab
was go to Geneva – she did two weeks ago – and just think of two things; sit, in other words, sit and
listen, and the second one is, if you sit and don’t like what you hear, then walk. And I think basically
that’s what she’s done, she’s done right, and in 15 minutes I’m going to have an update from her of
where she thinks we are. But, I’ll give her the same advice as I did three weeks ago before she went
Just to follow up, I believe Paul Wolfowitz’ comments were in a letter to the White House.
Well then, if he’s trying to advise the President I think that’s okay, but he’s trying to give
the President some advice, but it shouldn’t have been made public then because by the publicity that
you know about that I don’t, then you know, he’s undercutting our position.
Advisory for Iowa Reporters and Editors
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
During this week’s conference call with farm broadcasters, Sen. Chuck Grassley addressed the
BSE Concerns in Canadian Cattle
WTO-Doha Round Negotiations
To access the comments, call 1-800-545-1267. Dial 500, then 1.
Voice mail box prompts:
Enter 6............................................Advance audio ten seconds.
Enter 4............................................Back-up audio ten seconds.
Enter 3............................................Advance audio one minute.
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Or go to http://grassley.senate.gov. Click on News, then Radio Actualities.
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