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U.S. Still Seeks Better Market Access

The U.S. is prepared to accept further cuts in domestic farm subsidies in world trade talks but needs to see a lot more market access from its trading partners in order to do that, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab told Reuters News Service on June 26.

The U.S. proposal to cut overall trade-distorting farm subsidies by 53% "has never been a take-it or leave-it offer," but the European Union and advanced developing countries must offer much more new market access for farm and manufactured goods before the U.S. can go further than that, Schwab told Reuters.

"Until we see an awful lot more market access on the table, it's hard to be talking about adjustments that we might make in our offer" on domestic subsidies, Schwab said in an interview before heading to Geneva for a meeting aimed at rescuing troubled world trade talks from collapse.

After more than four years of negotiations, "I hope that conditions are ripe for striking a deal ... We'd like to see a breakthrough this week," Schwab said.

But while the U.S. has been getting signals that other countries would like to bring the talks to a successful close, there are still some differences over "what that landing zone would look like," Schwab said.

In the U.S. view, "it would be a shame to settle for a lowest common denominator outcome when if we push a little harder, each of us, in terms of our own domestic politics ... we should be able to find a much more ambitious outcome than what has been discussed up to this point," Schwab said.

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and Soybean Digest's > Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at

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