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BUSH URGED NOT TO HURT U.S. FARMERS JUST TO GET TRADE AGREEMENT

   BUSH URGED NOT TO HURT U.S. FARMERS JUST TO GET TRADE AGREEMENT
    WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Several U.S. farm and commodity groups today urged President Bush to avoid making concessions in the Uruguay round of trade talks that would be "extremely detrimental to hundreds of thousands of U.S. farmers ... many of whom are already economically distressed."
    Specifically, the farm groups said in a letter to Bush that any agreement must address the "dumping of surplus commodities on world markets, primarily by the European Community (EC) and non-GATT member countries."
    The commodity groups went on to say, "It is not acceptable for the United States to eliminate entirely our ability to protect our farmers from injurious imports while the EC and other countries significantly maintain their ability to keep exports out."
    They said, "Until the EC agrees to dismantle its variable levy system, and centrally-planned non-market economies conform to international trading rules, the U.S. must maintain its right to use Section 22" of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933.
    Section 22 is designed to limit excessive imports of surplus foreign agricultural products which threaten to disrupt domestic farm programs.
    The commodity groups also noted that in Section 1560 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990, the Senate cautioned against interfering with "any existing legal authority designed to promote or protect any domestic agricultural program ... or eliminate any existing waiver granted to the United States" under the GATT unless all export subsidies had been eliminated and U.S. farmers were provided the opportunity to compete fairly in international markets.
    Trade negotiators have said that Section 22 is "on the table" for negotiations in the GATT talks, which many believe are in the final stages before a possible agreement is negotiated.
    The letter went on to say, "Mr. President, an agreement is only acceptable if it is fair and equitable, and does not leave U.S. producers in a disadvantaged competitive position."
    The letter was signed by the following commodity groups: National Cotton Council of America; Associated Milk Producers, Inc.; Dairymen, Inc.; Mid-America Dairymen, Inc.; National Milk Producers Federation; Alabama Farmers Federation; Georgia Peanut Commission; North Carolina Peanut Growers Association; Southwest Peanut Growers Association; Virginia Peanut Growers Association; American Sugarbeet Growers Association; American Sugar Cane League; Florida Sugar Cane League; Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association; Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers; Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida; U.S. Beet Sugar Association; and the U.S. Cane Sugar Refiners' Association.
    -0-                  11/6/91
    /CONTACT:  Joseph Terrell of the American Sugar Alliance, 202-457-1438/ CO:  American Sugar Alliance ST:  District of Columbia IN: SU: MH-DC -- DC028 -- 1799 11/06/91 14:25 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 6, 1991
Words:444
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