Cairns Group Condemns United States Farm Bill

15 May 2002

Cairns Group Ministers today expressed deep regret over new U.S. farm support legislation.

"The Bill contains a massive 80 per cent increase in farm subsidies over base support levels contained in the 1996 Fair Act.  It is damaging to the international economy and could undermine efforts to achieve global reform of this heavily subsidised and distorted sector." Cairns Group Ministers said.

"At US$180 billion over the next decade, the sheer size of this package will hurt farmers around the world.  The impact will be particularly damaging on developing countries, net food exporters and importers alike, many of which are heavily reliant on their agricultural sectors for their economic development and are looking to the Doha Development Agenda to reform world agricultural trade." 

“The new legislation makes the U.S. Administration's task of continuing to take a leading role in the Doha Round more difficult.  It will provide comfort for those WTO members who are determined to resist meaningful reform of the agricultural sector.” 

“Cairns Group Ministers will continue to work for the full implementation of the Doha agricultural mandate.  We are committed to the phasing out of all forms of export subsidies, to substantial reductions in production and trade distorting domestic support and to substantial improvements in market access."  

"We call on the United States to renew its commitment to the Doha Development Agenda, and demonstrate the necessary leadership for the attainment of an ambitious and comprehensive program of agricultural liberalisation and reform in the current WTO negotiations."

Last Updated: 24 February 2016