Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Doha Failure Leads to Push for Farm Subsidies

I talked about how the apparent death of the Doha Round will lead to new pressure for protectionism. How nice of the farm community to provide a quick and ready example.

While farmers' groups previously supported the temporary extension of existing programs until a Doha Round was concluded, they will now push for full reauthorizations of federal farm programs, since ' the farm economy is in a shaky financial situation' due to high energy prices.

No word yet on whether transportation, health care, entertainment, news-gathering, animal welfare, machine tools, mining, home improvement, or other sectors are also impacted by high energy prices. If it turns out that they are, I would imagine they are deserving of federal support as well.

Update: Michael Barone comments on this as well, and notes (as I should have) that farm-state legislators had feared that a Doha agreement would commit the US to dramatically-reduced farm subsidies. 'Fortunately' it seems that there's no longer any such concern.

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