June 13,2006

Baucus Warns Lamy on EU AG Concessions

Senator says U.S. trading partners cannot expect more for less

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, today warned WTO Director General Pascal Lamy that Congress would not accept a Doha Round that demanded steep concessions of the United States without commensurate movement from other trading partners. Senator Baucus and Director General Lamy met today to discuss the status of the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda.

“I explained to Director General Lamy that our trading partners cannot demand more while offering less. Recent suggestions that the United States make additional cuts to farm programs are a non-starter,” said Baucus. “It is highly unrealistic to expect the United States to make significant, let alone additional, agriculture concessions in the Doha Round when key trading partners, especially the European Union, refuse to take commensurate action and offer real market access.”

In October, the United States offered to reduce trade-distorting farm support payments by 60 percent – contingent upon deep cuts in European Union and developing world farm tariffs, significant reductions in industrial tariffs in Brazil and other developing countries, and enhanced access to the services markets of key trading partners. So far, the EU has refused to offer meaningful concessions in agriculture tariffs. Brazil and developing world countries have not yet committed to steep reductions in industrial tariffs.

“Mr. Lamy must understand that, from my perspective, no deal is better than a bad deal for Montana’s farmers and ranchers,” said Baucus.