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US Government Agrees to Cut Cotton Subsidies?

U.S. to Comply with Ruling on U.S. Cotton Subsidies 04/20/05 08:35

OMAHA (DTN) -- The Bush administration today will formally notify the World Trade Organization that it plans to fully comply with the ruling regarding U.S. cotton subsidies. However, the administration still has not decided how it will implement the WTO decision, which was adopted by the organization's Dispute Settlement Body on March 21. Trade officials and lawyers in several government agencies, including the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and USDA are examining several options.

USDA Undersecretary J.B. Penn said deciding how to comply with the WTO ruling would take time because the issue is complex and "and there are a lot of stakeholders [who need to be consulted in the process]." Penn said that he is currently "up to my eyeballs" with work on the issue, noting that the two most urgent issues the administration is attempting to resolve concern the WTO decision condemning the Step 2 and export credit programs for cotton production.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., last week said officials are looking at the formula that triggers Step 2 subsidies to millers and exporters.

USDA's Penn said the United States agrees that it must comply with the WTO ruling by July 1 with respect to the Step 2 and export credit programs.

"After that, we have a little more time to address some of the other implications [of the WTO ruling]," he said.