Globalization and U.S. Farm Policy – Friday, December 9, 2005
Acting on a complaint by Brazil, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel in 2004 found that U.S. cotton program subsidies violate the United States’ own trade obligations as agreed upon by Congress in 1994.
This finding greatly complicates U.S. farm policy. In 2007, Congress must reauthorize agriculture legislation, but how will the new Farm Bill differ from present policy? How will U.S. net farm income-currently dependent on farm subsidies-be provided if existing subsidies are illegal? Can policymakers design a system that will enable farmers to live on farmgate sales in an international context in which excess global production depresses farm prices?
The Freeman Lecture will shed new light on this dilemma with speakers who include the former Brazilian trade negotiator who led the successful challenge to U.S. cotton subsidies, along with an agricultural economist who builds new policy ideas upon those that former Minnesota Governor and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman proposed for supply management half a century ago. Members of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation who serve on the House and Senate agriculture committees that will craft new agriculture legislation are invited to provide their perspectives.
Information on Freeman Lecturers:
Pedro de Camargo Neto
An agricultural and trade policy consultant, Pedro de Camargo Neto currently serves as president of the
Brazilian Association of Pork Producers and Exporters. In his previous position as Secretary of Production and Trade in the Ministry of Agriculture of Brazil, he was responsible for agriculture negotiations at the WTO, Free Trade Area of the Americas, MERSOSUR-European Union, and other bilateral agreements. He initiated and developed strategy on such sector disputes as the U.S.-Brazil cotton case and the Brazil-European Union sugar case. Camargo served as president of the Sociedade Rural Brasileira from 1990 to 1993 and founded and was president of Fundo de Desenvolvimento da Pecuaria de São Paulo (FUNDEPEC) from 1991 to 2000. He holds a doctorate in engineering from the University of São Paulo and a Master of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Professor Daryll E. Ray
Professor Daryll E. Ray established the University of Tennessee’s Agricultural Policy Analysis Center in 1992 and has served as the center’s director since that time. Throughout his career, Ray’s research primarily has focused on commodity policy, development of analytical models for policy analysis, and deepening the understanding of the structure and nature of the agricultural sector. He was one of few agricultural economists who predicted that the farm programs Congress adopted in 1996 and 2002 would fail to improve economic conditions for American farmers and, instead, would lead to declining farm income and instability in the U.S. farm economy.