The top U.S. negotiator on ag trade issues is in Iowa today, and Ambassador Robert Zoellick says as he heads into the next round of international trade talks, he has a game plan. Zoellick says his goal is to strike one-on-one free-trade agreements with more countries — just like the one negotiated with Chile — to put pressure on other countries that have high tariffs on U.S. commodities.Zoellick says it creates competition, and puts the U.S. on the offensive. Zoellick is heading into World Trade talks that involve 146 nations.Zoellick says no one will underestimate the difficulty of the negotiations, but he says the only way to lower Japanese and European ag subsidies is to negotiate. The average European tariff on ag goods is 31 percent; the average in Japan is 51 percent. Zoellick says if American farmers are going to grow more, than they’ve got to sell more abroad.The U.S. exported about 53-billion dollars worth of ag products last year, and Iowa was the country’s number three ag exporting state. Iowa exported just over one billion dollars worth of soybeans and just about one billion dollars worth of corn last year.
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