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Global Tariff Reductions for Agricultural Exports

September 08, 2002

Your Aug. 19 editorial "Protectionism's Blowback" correctly identifies the pursuit of the Free Trade Area of the Americas as a major regional trade and economic development priority for the Bush administration. But in calling for the administration to consider "confidence-building moves in the region," the editorial omitted mentioning the new U.S. agricultural proposal.

In late July, the administration offered an ambitious proposal to reduce global tariffs from an average of 62% to 15%, slash global trade-distorting domestic subsidies by $100 billion a year and eliminate export subsidies.

Our proposal has garnered broad support from American agricultural groups and from countries ranging from Australia to Sri Lanka and Bolivia. In order to keep American markets open, we must work within the rules and push for accords that expand free trade. Those are the key ingredients of a successful trade strategy that will promote prosperity both at home and abroad.

Richard Mills

Press Secretary, Office of the

U.S. Trade Representative

Washington, D.C.

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