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Free Trade of the Americas, the WTO, and the New Farm Bill



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Free Trade of the Americas, the WTO, and the New Farm Bill

May 31, 2002 (Chicago) Approximately 100 participants from agribusinesses, agricultural organizations, government agencies and universities met in San Antonio, Texas, for this conference held May 23-24, 2002. The timing of this conference fit well with the recent completion of the new farm bill which has refocused attention to the implications for trade of domestic agricultural policy. The first session of this conference addressed that very issue with high-level representatives from USDA, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the Republic of Mexico presenting their perspectives and responding to numerous audience questions.

Participants then addressed issues and prospects for Free Trade of the Americas (FTAA) separately for the World Trade Organization (WTO) and for Cuba. This was followed by more detailed analyses of NAFTA issues and impacts, domestic policy and trade implications, and trade and environmental issues. Participants then turned to consideration of adjustments in U.S. agriculture necessary for some commodities of particular importance to Southern U.S. agricultural producers because of FTAA, WTO, and farm bill impacts. The conference concluded with in-depth attention to recent analyses of trade and policy regulation issues, regional and country analyses and FTAA issues and impacts.

This Farm Foundation-sponsored conference was coordinated by S-287 Southern Regional Research Project "Impacts of Trade Agreements and Economic Policies on Southern Agriculture." The committee's research and outreach have national and international audiences and its membership is recognized as experts in the respected fields and commodities with a national reputation for outstanding research and educational activities. Conference papers are available on the web, and an executive summary will be disseminated widely among private and public sector leaders in the near future.

Papers and presentations are avialable on the Center for North American Studies Website at




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