WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairman Bob Goodlatte made the following statement at a press conference this morning with Ambassador Susan Schwab, U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, and a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives. The press conference was held to discuss the Doha Development Agenda.
“Agricultural negotiations have the potential to break down trade barriers, open new markets for American producers, and share the bounty of our food and fiber supply with consumers around the world. At this critical stage in the Doha round, it is important that we not lose sight of our goals and fail to see the forest for the trees. Earlier this year, members of the WTO called on the U.S. to make an ambitious and forthcoming proposal and the U.S. answered that call. Period.
“No other country has introduced a proposal that even comes close to the U.S. proposal. Now, we are being called on to give even more and receive less. As I have conveyed to Ambassador Schwab, this is not an option. There is absolutely no support in the Congress for further concessions on our part, including further concessions on market access and domestic supports.
“We want a serious expansion of real market access. Our producers have been shut out of foreign markets for far too long. To achieve that, the U.S. offered significant real curbs on our domestic support for producers. No other country or combination of countries, have put forward offers that measure up to our proposal. Now it is time for the rest of the world to step up to the challenge. If they will not, then that old, but accurate, phrase applies: No deal is better than a bad deal.”
AUDIO CLIP of today's press conference with Ambassador Schwab and Secretary Johanns.