World Trade Organization negotiations ended in Cancun, Mexico, without progress toward a framework for further talks. Disagreements ranged from topics such as investment, transparency and government procurement to antitrust policy, trade facilitation and agricultural subsidies.
The National Cotton Council was particularly vocal saying that a bad agreement would bring substantial damage to the industry, and was pleased the negotiators were unwilling to yield principles in order to get an agreement.
Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau president, says, “American farmers are disappointed that world trade talks have hit a roadblock, but we hold out hope that the roadblock is temporary.” The AFB agreed with the NCC’s sentiments as well, saying the agricultural industry did not sell itself short and settle for a bad agreement.
The proposed plan was panned for being a weak and modest effort that did little to open up agricultural markets.
It’s not clear how the latest round of WTO talks will affect pork, but the sooner trade barriers come down, the better for U.S. pork exports. The latest WTO impasse may delay the process, but the U.S. trade representatives will continue to work toward that goal.