Former Appellate Body Member Jim Bacchus makes the case for cutting farm subsidies:
The federal budgetary squeeze on agricultural subsidies offers the President and Congress a beckoning opportunity to seize and shape a grand global bargain on international trade. We could trade new cuts in farm subsidies for new markets to create new jobs in other sectors of trade.
Doing so could end the decade-long deadlock in the Doha Development Round of global trade negotiations. Those negotiations linger on life support, with hundreds of billions of dollars in increased trade annually -- and untold new jobs -- at risk if they fail.
Why not grasp this chance to defeat at long last the “Frankenstein monster” of farm subsidies? Why not cut our farm subsidies substantially now -- and craft those cuts as a new offer in the Doha round? We can reduce our deficits while also creating more jobs by opening up more foreign markets to more exports of all kinds of U.S. goods and services.
The policy arguments seem clear and convincing. The politics are probably more complicated.