US asks India, China, Brazil to open farm markets

August 5th, 2010 - 1:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama By Arun Kumar
Washington, Aug 5 (IANS) The United State is pushing emerging markets like India, China and Brazil to open up their agriculture markets for a successful Doha round of World trade talks.

The US was “taking the lead in pursuing new trade opportunities, with a special focus on the world’s fastest-growing markets,” US trade representative (USTR) Ron Kirk told the Senate Committee on Agriculture Wednesday.

“In the Asia-Pacific, USTR is leading negotiations of a new, high- standard, 21st century Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement that will ensure American farmers and ranchers access to the region’s dynamic and growing markets for decades to come,” he said.

“Globally, USTR remains committed to a balanced and ambitious Doha round,” Kirk said. But “success will depend particularly on engagement by emerging markets such as China, Brazil, and India, which must make contributions commensurate with their position in the global economy.”

As the US pursues new market access, the Obama Administration is also ensuring that American farmers and ranchers benefit more fully from existing trade agreements, he said.

“American farmers and ranchers now have greater access to world markets because we resolved long-standing disputes and addressed other barriers to US agricultural products.”

Among America’s “most pressing concerns on agricultural non-tariff measures are Chinese and Indian certification requirements for US dairy exports, and unjustified barriers on beef, pork, and poultry products in China, Japan, Taiwan, and elsewhere,” Kirk said.

“The Obama Administration is committed to trade policies that keep American farmers and ranchers supplying high quality food and fibre around the world,” he said.

Exports and trade are vital to the long-term health and viability of American agriculture as 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the US, Kirk said.

Despite the recent global economic downturn, US agricultural exports have continued to expand, more than doubling from about $50 billion in fiscal year 2000 to a projected $105 billion for fiscal year 2010, he said. Last year, America exported $97 billion in agricultural products, supporting a $23 billion agricultural trade surplus.

Noting that “every $1 billion in agriculture exports supports roughly 8,000 jobs in the US,” Kirk said President Barack Obama had set a goal to double American exports over five years, supporting up to two million additional American jobs.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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