Will Farmers Reap Trade-Pact Gains? New Rules Will Benefit Agriculture and All Sectors of U.S. Economy

Article excerpt

After seven years of negotiations, new trading rules have been approved by the United States and are being considered by many other nations. These rules will benefit U.S. agriculture, along with virtually every other sector of our economy and the economies of other countries.

Agriculture is America's top growth industry. We export more farm products than we buy, earning a trade surplus. The trade pact, known as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade - will help us flex our competitive muscles.

New international trade language will lead to substantially improved access for U.S. farm exports. Our country is already relatively open. GATT will require others to reduce their trade-distorting support payments, export subsidies and import protection. More exports mean more sales; more sales mean higher prices; higher prices mean higher profits; higher profits mean higher net income for farmers.

New trade regulations will substantially benefit the world economy. By eliminating import taxes, world income will increase as much as $5 trillion in the next 10 years. Higher world incomes mean more demand for our commodities. That increased demand could boost our foreign sales another $4.7 billion by 2000 and as much as $8.7 billion by 2005.

Increased farm exports mean more U.S. jobs - as many as 112,000 jobs in the year 2000, and as many as 190,000 in 2005.

Post-NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) trade figures between Mexico and the United States are proof that liberalized trade works. …