Committed to an open-ended Korean non-solution in Iraq, I sense President Bush wants to mend some fences with potential conservative "library" donors. Hence, this interesting announcement regarding ag subsidies and WTO:
The United States is prepared to negotiate a multilateral trade deal on the basis of a WTO proposal calling for big cuts in agriculture subsidies, a government official said Wednesday.Bush has been savaged by the right for his cave-in on the 2002 Farm Bill, and it could be he will be able to have his way here, if US negotiators can deliver for American service providers and manufacturers. Between administration stalwarts and various other special interest factions, a farm bill veto override would be a tall order.
But a spokeswoman for the office of the US Trade Representative, Sean Spicer, said other countries "must step up to ensure the strongest possible market access outcomes" in agriculture as well as manufacturing and services.
The comments in Washington came after a high-ranking WTO official said in Geneva that US officials had accepted WTO proposals as a basis for negotiations.
"They said they were prepared to negotiate within the range of numbers put forward in the agriculture paper, provided everybody else would work within the same parameters," said the WTO's chief agriculture negotiator, New Zealand ambassador Crawford Falconer.
In July, Falconer published a series of proposals for WTO members which suggested that the United States reduce its agricultural subsidies to between 12.8 to 16.2 billion dollars (9.2 to 11.6 billion euros). [More]