U.S. Farm Policy and the WTO: How Do They Match Up?
The debate over a new farm bill has focused on how to spend an additional $73.5 billion in funding for the agricultural budget over ten years. The House of Representatives, the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Senators Cochran and Roberts (supported by the Bush Administration) have each proposed a structure for the next farm bill. A critical question becomes whether these proposals conflict with U.S. commitments to limit subsidies under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement. This paper explores this issue and concludes with a discussion of the future direction of U.S. farm subsidies and new WTO agreements.