February 27, 2020

EU Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel Wraps Up Washington Visit

Categories: Doha / Trade /EU /Farm Bill

EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mariann Fischer Boel was in Washington, D.C. last week where she met with a variety of U.S. officials and discussed U.S. farm policy and the Doha Round of W.T.O. trade talks.

Commissioner Fischer Boel also delivered a speech on Friday (“EU Agriculture in a Globalised World”) at an event hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

For additional details on the Commissioner’s visit, see this update, which has been posted at the German Marshall Fund’s Trade & Development webpage.


Farm Bill Proposals: Sugar

Categories: Ethanol /Farm Bill

I. Farm Bill
II. Renewable Energy

I. Farm Bill

Bill Tomson, writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, reported that, “Sugar farmers could see their shares of the U.S. market cut back to make way for imports if the Bush administration gets its way, a move that has riled farmers and some U.S. lawmakers.

“The Agriculture Department, in preparing for the possibility of large influxes of sugar from Mexico, wants the ability to curtail domestic production by modifying its complex price-support system.

“‘In essence, what they’re saying is ‘Give us the authority to tell U.S. producers to grow less so that we can import more,’’ said Phillip Hayes, spokesman for the American Sugar Alliance.”

“Harvested wheat is loaded onto a truck near Neche, N.D. The farm bill currently under consideration has received accolades and criticism from some surprising quarters.” (Picture and quote from today’s Christian Science Monitor).

The Journal article explained that, “For years, the government has maintained tight control of imports with a tariff-rate quota program that assigns amounts of the sweetener that foreign countries are allowed to supply to the U.S. Beginning next year, the U.S. will completely open its border to Mexican sugar, and USDA officials said they want to avoid having to buy up any surpluses on the market. Reducing domestic producers’ share of the U.S. market was the method they chose.