Promoting Free Trade in Agriculture

Despite decades of agricultural liberalization through successes like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization, many costly, trade-distorting subsidies and barriers remain in place both in the United States and abroad. Reform is necessary, and experience in the United States and elsewhere shows that the U.S. farm sector, far from being destroyed by elimination of these non-market measures, would grow even stronger. Congress should enact reforms that convert the U.S. farm trade system into one that better reflects free-market principles, limits government intervention on behalf of well-connected cronies, and offers a broader array of benefits to U.S. consumers and the economy. Such reforms also would give the United States the moral authority to demand more of its trading partners through trade negotiations and dispute settlement. Trade has provided immense benefits to the U.S. and global agricultural sectors, but more remains to be done.

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