December 22, 2008


US farm bill seen to enhance domestic agricultural protection

The 2008 US farm bill strengthens protection for American farmers, said the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE).


ABARE said high levels of US government support for farmers will continue, despite the relatively high prices for commodities.


Changes under the new bills will provide opportunities for US farmers to receive support even when market prices are at record high, said ABARE chief economist Don Gunasekera, who added that it's too early to tell if president-elect Barack Obama and the credit crunch will mean more agricultural protectionism.


The US Farm Bill, which includes provisions designed to restrict imports of Vietnamese tra catfish fillets, may hurt shipments of the product should the farm bill be adopted.


The farm bill is also expected to hurt Vietnamese catfish exports to the US, as it imposes strict control of Vietnamese tra fillet imports as with meat imports into the US, said Nguyen Huu Dung, vice chairman of the Vietnamese Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

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