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FACT SHEET: Leveling the Playing Field for American Farmers

The new multilateral agreement struck by the WTO Membership at the 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya takes important steps to ensure U.S. farmers and ranchers are competing on an even playing field.  WTO Members agreed to global rules on export competition, which includes the elimination of export subsidies, new disciplines on export financing support, continuing work to eliminate export monopoly powers of agricultural state trading enterprises, and disciplines on international food assistance.

A Global Ban on Export Subsidies

  • WTO Members agreed to eliminate all export subsidies, a major achievement that will abolish one of the most trade-distorting measures and level the playing field for U.S. agriculture.
  • Developed countries will end export subsidies immediately and developing countries in 3 years.  Developing countries will be allowed to use limited export subsidies for transportation and marketing until 2023, subject to certain conditions.
  • This ensures an end to Canadian dairy and Indian sugar export subsidies, while also preventing export-oriented countries like Brazil from taking advantage of such measures going forward.

A Fair Approach To Export Financing

  • WTO Members agreed to new disciplines regarding agricultural export financing, creating new and equitable disciplines on all forms of export financing, including export credits, direct financing, and interest rate support.
  • This ensures export financing programs in countries like Brazil and China are subjected to disciplines in line with U. S. programs.

Curbing State Trading Enterprises

  • WTO Members agreed to minimize the trade-distorting effects of agricultural export state trading enterprises.

A Commitment to Food Assistance

  • WTO Members have reinforced their commitments to provide food aid, while creating new disciplines to minimize or eliminate impacts on commercial markets.
  • These new disciplines ensure that the United States is able to continue to provide recipient countries with food assistance through programs currently operated.  This will multilateralize the United States’ best practices in food aid delivery and ensure emergency feeding and agricultural development objectives are met.