WTO Ruling Could Put West Texas Farmers Out of Business - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/28/04

WTO Ruling Could Put West Texas Farmers Out of Business

On Monday the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of challenges by Brazil against the U.S. farm program. Brazil claims the current U.S. farm program hindrers their market for cotton. Brazil says the U.S. produces a surplus of cotton in the world market causing their prices to decrease. The full report by the WTO has not been released yet so it's too soon to tell what the effects will be on local farmers.

"This is not gonna be a short term process this is gonna take several years and it may even drag out so far as to be time developing the next farm program and the next deal, so to speculate on what impact it may have on our growers at this point is premature and something no one can do," says Shawn Wade, with Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

If the ruling stands, the U.S. could drop the farm program which pays farmers for their crops. A final ruling by WTO could come as soon as this June, but the U.S. plans to appeal.

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