A criticism frequently brought by farmers of our Trade Representatives is that they don't stand their ground to defend American Agriculture. That's not the case this week from reading a statement from Gretchen Hamel, USTR spokeswoman, regarding the appeal of the WTO Final Compliance Panel Report in United States-Subsidies on Upland Cotton.
On Tuesday of this week the United States filed its appeal in the WTO dispute brought by Brazil alleging that the United States had not implemented earlier WTO findings against U.S. agricultural support measures, including support for cotton farmers.
Ms. Hamel said in her statement that, "The appeal is from the report of a compliance panel that found that certain changes made by the United States to its cotton programs were insufficient to bring the challenged measures - certain support payments under the 2002 farm bill and export credit guarantees - into conformity with U.S. WTO obligations."
She went on to explain, "We are appealing because the changes made by the United States have brought its programs into full compliance with the WTO's recommendations and rulings in the original Cotton case. We were very disappointed with the compliance panel's findings. The appeal challenges the erroneous findings on both U.S. support payments and export credit guarantees."
Ms. Hamel promises to continue to consult with Members of Congress and private sector stakeholders, including the agricultural community, as the appeal process moves forward.
She closed her statement saying, "Given the opportunity presented in the Doha negotiations, we have emphasized all along the importance of delivering reform in agricultural trade through negotiations rather than litigation. We therefore hope that WTO Members, including developing countries like Brazil, will see the benefit of working together to deliver real progress in the Doha negotiations."