Doha's Death Knell, U.S. Agricultural Policy, and the Future of Free Trade
With a Keynote Address by Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner
About This Event

Most public discussions of the farm bill renewal process have focused on the direct domestic effects of these policies. But U.S. agricultural subsidies, regulations, and spending programs have significant impacts on global commodity markets, and have therefore come under close scrutiny by U.S. trading partners. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has already found America’s cotton support programs to be in violation of existing agreements, allowing aggrieved nations, under existing rules, not only to retaliate against U.S. agricultural interests but also against manufacturing and services exports. Likely WTO challenges against other crop subsidy programs pose an even greater threat. Agricultural policy has become the central stumbling block in the Doha round of negotiations, and inflexibility over U.S. farm subsidies could lead to the failure of the trade negotiations altogether. This would negatively affect U.S. consumers and producers alike.

As House and Senate members continue their work on the farm bill, experts will gather at AEI to discuss the likely risks—to U.S. economic and foreign policy interests—arising from the failure to grasp this opportunity for agricultural policy reform. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner will give a keynote speech on the implications of current U.S. farm policy for our WTO obligations and the Doha round negotiations.

This conference was funded by the American Enterprise Institute's Inez and William Mabie Endowment for Agricultural Policy Research.

8:45 a.m.
Registration and Breakfast
Henry Olsen, AEI
Panel I.
Agricultural Policy and the Risks of Collapsing Trade
Daniel A. Sumner, University of California, Davis
Joseph W. Glauber, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
M. Ann Tutwiler, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Panel II.
The Costs of Agricultural Policy to the Developing World
Daniel A. Sumner, University of California, Davis
Paul Wolfowitz, AEI
Jim Lyons, Oxfam
Dan Morgan, Washington Post and German Marshall Fund
12:15 p.m.
Keynote Speaker:
Charles F. Conner, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
Panel III.
The Costs of Agricultural Policy to the U.S. Economy
Catherine Bennett, National Foreign Trade Council
Leonard Condon, Altria Corporate Services
Christopher Wenk, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Calvin M. Dooley, Grocery Manufacturers/Food Products Association


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  • Henry Olsen, a lawyer by training, is the director of AEI's National Research Initiative. In that capacity, he identifies leading academics and public intellectuals who work in an aspect of domestic public policy and recruits them to visit or write for AEI. Mr. Olsen studies and writes about the policy and political implications of long-term trends in social, economic, and political thought.


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