Food manufacturers are applauding USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for its focus on upcoming WTO agriculture negotiations. The U.S. is pushing the WTO to address domestic support and export subsidies, with the aim of widening access to markets.
“Processed food products now account for almost 40% of U.S. agricultural exports, but access to markets is limited by trade-distorting subsidies, high tariffs and non-tariff barriers,” said Dr. Rhona Applebaum, executive vice president for the National Food Processors Association. She said the U.S. proposal would give American food exporters the same advantages enjoyed by foreign producers.
“Average world tariffs on agriculture products are currently 62%, while the U.S. averages 12%,” she added. The U.S. has proposed a plan to eliminate tariff disparities and escalation, including a proposed compromise holding all nations to a maximum percentage of support on their total agricultural production.