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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support

Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support

Date: May 10, 2005
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: Most provisions of the current “farm bill,” the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 (P.L. 107-171), do not expire until 2007. However, hearings on a 2007 farm bill could begin in late 2005. At that time, Congress will begin to examine farm income and commodity price support proposals that might succeed the programs due to expire in 2007. A key question likely to be asked of virtually every new proposal is how it will affect U.S. commitments under the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AA), which commits the United States to spend no more than $19.1 billion annually on domestic farm support programs most likely to distort trade. The AA spells out the rules for countries to determine whether their policies are potentially trade distorting, and to calculate the costs. This report describes the steps for making these determinations.
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FY1997 USDA Budget: Food and Nutrition Programs

FY1997 USDA Budget: Food and Nutrition Programs

Date: October 28, 1996
Creator: Jones, Jean Yavis
Description: None
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FY1998 USDA Budget and Appropriations: Domestic Food Programs

FY1998 USDA Budget and Appropriations: Domestic Food Programs

Date: November 18, 1997
Creator: Jones, Jean Yavis
Description: None
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Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA's Air Compliance Agreement

Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA's Air Compliance Agreement

Date: February 2, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: In an effort to collect scientifically credible data regarding the effect of animal agriculture on water resources (specifically animal waste and emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2005 announced the Air Compliance Agreement. The agreement is intended to produce air quality monitoring data on AFO emissions during a two-year study, while at the same time protecting participants through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws.
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Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA's Air Compliance Agreement

Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA's Air Compliance Agreement

Date: July 12, 2005
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: In an effort to collect scientifically credible data regarding the effect of animal agriculture on water resources (specifically animal waste and emissons from animal feeding operations (AFO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2005 announced the Air Compliance Agreement. The agreement is intended to produce air quality monitoring data on AFO emissions during a two-year study, while at the same time protecting participants through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws. This report discusses the agreement and the perspectives of both its supporters and opponents.
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Agriculture Support Mechanisms in the European Union: A Comparison with the United States

Agriculture Support Mechanisms in the European Union: A Comparison with the United States

Date: July 31, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: The European Union (EU), comprised of 15 member states (countries), is one of the United States’ chief agricultural trading partners and also a major competitor in world markets. Both heavily support their agricultural sectors, with a large share of such support concentrated on wheat, feed grains, cotton, oilseeds, sugar, dairy, and tobacco. However, the EU provides more extensive support to a broader range of farm and food products. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the EU and United States in 2001 together accounted for nearly two-thirds of all government support to agriculture among the major developed economies. However, EU agricultural spending generally is much higher than in the United States. Information comparing how the U.S. and EU governments support their producers is expected to be of interest to policymakers while negotiations are underway among world trading partners to further reform agricultural trade.
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Agriculture and China's Accession to the World Trade Organization

Agriculture and China's Accession to the World Trade Organization

Date: March 13, 2001
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E
Description: The prospect of future growth in demand for agricultural products makes China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) an important issue for the U.S. agricultural sector. Most agricultural interest groups strongly support China’s entry into the WTO, because they think it will increase U.S. agricultural exports and enhance farm income. In the 107th Congress, attention is focused on China’s final WTO accession negotiations where differences over agriculture have become an issue.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Chite, Ralph M. & Shields, Dennis A.
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (otherwise known as the 2008 farm bill) includes authorization and funding for crop disaster programs, livestock assistance programs, and a tree assistance program. The new programs are designed to address the ad hoc nature of disaster assistance provided to producers during the last two decades.
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Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Date: September 5, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Cowan, Tadlock
Description: Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: October 25, 2010
Creator: Shields, Dennis A. & Chite, Ralph M.
Description: This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs: federal crop insurance, NAP payments, emergency disaster loans, the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and four other smaller disaster programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill. The second section reviews the recent history of emergency supplemental farm disaster assistance.
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