Active U.S. membership in WTO necessary to ensure reform
On Wed., Sept. 23, NPC joined a coalition of 62 agriculture organizations on a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer calling for the United States to remain in the World Trade Organization (WTO). In the letter, the groups acknowledge that meaningful WTO reform is needed but maintain that continued U.S. membership and active partnership is key to ensure that necessary reforms are undertaken.
“The U.S. potato industry relies upon export markets to maintain our economic health. Those markets remain open and reliable with strong trade agreements and enforcement made possible by organizations such as the WTO,” said Jared Balcom, NPC Vice President of International Trade.
Noting that more than 20 percent of overall agricultural production in the United States destined for foreign markets, the coalition writes that WTO has had a positive impact on U.S. agriculture. “The WTO affords U.S. agriculture producers and exporters most-favored nation (MFN) treatment in 163 countries, representing over 80 percent of the global economy. The WTO provides rules to guard against arbitrary use of technical regulations or standards to block imports, such as actions associated with sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures that lack a clear basis in science and are protectionist in intent,” they write. “As long as exports are important to U.S. agriculture, WTO membership will be essential as well,” the letter concludes.
The full letter can be found here.