Latest U.S. Farm Bill developments

13-08-2012

The US Senate and the House Agricultural Committee have adopted their versions of the next Farm Bill but there is no agreement on a common text. Both proposals reinforce the protection of farmers against adverse conditions. They may result in very large payments for taxpayers in particular years and could lead to WTO challenges. The US decision process is heavily influenced by vested interests, which explains the persistence of costly policies such as the inefficient insurance subsidies. Congress proposals for the next Farm Bill may further distort international markets.

The US Senate and the House Agricultural Committee have adopted their versions of the next Farm Bill but there is no agreement on a common text. Both proposals reinforce the protection of farmers against adverse conditions. They may result in very large payments for taxpayers in particular years and could lead to WTO challenges. The US decision process is heavily influenced by vested interests, which explains the persistence of costly policies such as the inefficient insurance subsidies. Congress proposals for the next Farm Bill may further distort international markets.