In Conclusion

IDFA applauds finalization of WTO Doha framework.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) hails August’s release of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) framework for negotiations in the Doha Round.
The text was released following a tough week of negotiations in Geneva. While broadly written, the framework contains a number of goals that could significantly affect the U.S. dairy industry. Among these decisions is to eliminate agricultural export subsides, which is a top priority for IDFA.
“This framework is a major achievement,” says Clay Hough, IDFA senior vice president and general counsel. “U.S. negotiators and WTO members have made a tremendous effort to further liberalize trade and reduce market distortions that will greatly benefit U.S. dairy exporters.”
Although the document is often general in its terms and pushes more difficult decisions to a later date, WTO members did commit to language to establish a more market-oriented international trading system. In addition to the elimination of export subsidies, the WTO framework includes provisions to increase market access and reduce domestic subsidies.
If the framework language remains intact during the Doha negotiations, several U.S. dairy policies might have to be changed or ended, including the federal Dairy Price Support Program, the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) payments — both of which are considered “amber box” domestic subsidies — and the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP), an export subsidy. But the U.S. dairy industry would simultaneously benefit from increased opportunities in other markets.
IDFA will continue to be engaged in the WTO Doha Round as it proceeds and will work with U.S. negotiators to obtain the best possible outcome to ensure a substantial increase in market access for U.S. dairy exports and a real reduction in trade-distorting domestic support subsidies.
A full analysis of the framework’s provisions that may affect the U.S. dairy industry can be found at www.idfa.org. df