AGES No. (AGES-8923) 28 pp

August 1989

A Short History of U.S. Agricultural Trade Negotiations

The U.S. proposal to eliminate domestic farm subsidies worldwide, presented to the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations in 1987, is a significant break with past policies. Trade liberalization has been a U.S. goal since the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1934, but, until recently, the United States and many other nations have acted to preserve their own farm subsidies. In the 1980s, slower growth in international farm trade, the threat of trade wars, and higher subsidy costs have led to a reassessment of domestic as well as export subsidies and have created a climate favorable to eliminating subsidies.

Keywords: GATT, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, trade liberalization, foreign trade, farm subsidies

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