US farm groups press for progress on agriculture export credit issues at WTO conference

(World Grain, Kansas City, 15 December 2015) In a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the American Soybean Association (ASA) led a coalition of agricultural organizations in urging the U.S. Agriculture Secretary to work toward positive outcomes for agriculture in this week’s WTO Ministerial in Nairobi. With regard to export competition, the letter strongly supports U.S. efforts to eliminate export subsidies (including by the E.U. and Canada), reform export credit programs, and eliminate state trading enterprises and single desk trading. At the same time they cautioned against weakening such rules in developing nations, specifically noting subsidies by Brazil and other emerging nations for transportation, handling and processing costs for exported commodities. The ASA has subsequently expressed its disappointment with the decision to allow the continued use of export subsidies by developing nations.