Agriculture in the WTO Doha Round: The Framework Agreement and Next Steps [Updated May 3, 2005] [open pdf - 40KB]
"Member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) reached agreement on July 31, 2004 on a framework for negotiating agricultural trade liberalization in the multilateral trade round known as the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). The framework, part of a work program for all negotiating issues in the DDA (nonagricultural market access, services, trade facilitation, etc.), sets the stage for negotiations, now underway, to determine specific targets or formulas ('modalities') for curbing trade-distorting domestic support, reducing trade barriers and eliminating export subsidies. A draft report on agriculture modalities is expected by July 2005, but disagreement over a reduction formula for agricultural tariffs has slowed preparation of the report. If agreed to, the agriculture modalities report would be on the agenda of the WTO's Sixth Ministerial Conference in December 2005, and negotiations could be completed during 2006. In the meantime, the President has requested a two-year extension of trade promotion authority procedures (TPA, also known as fast-track) for considering legislation to implement trade agreements. DDA negotiations, which could affect farm programs and spending levels authorized in the 2002 farm bill, could be wrapping up as Congress begins considering the next farm bill. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21905
U.S. Department of State: http://www.state.gov/