Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Collin Peterson: Wheat Leader, Subsidy Lover

Congratulations to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) for being named the Wheat Leader of the Year:
"Chairman Peterson never fails to go to bat for agriculture when push really comes to shove," said Karl Scronce, [National Association of Wheat Growers] president and a wheat producer from Oregon. "We are proud to name him our Wheat Leader twice in just three years because he really does embody the agriculture voice on the Hill--and that's a voice that's desperately needed."
Yes, desperately needed - by subsidy-loving, WTO-disregarding American agribusiness.  Indeed, Cato's Sallie James today provides a great rundown of Peterson's latest pro-subsidy, anti-trade statements, several of which were made upon receiving his big wheat award (the Golden Kernel?). 

Given our Dear Wheat Leader's critical role in shaping congressional agriculture policy, James' analysis should put an end to any naiveoptimistic thoughts out there that President Obama's newfound "fiscal discipline" could translate into reform of bloated, WTO-illegal American farm subsidy programs in 2010.  Any hope of preemptively resolving WTO disputes over US agriculture subsidies should be similarly chucked out the window.  (Of course, readers of this blog gave up hope of any near-term reforms weeks ago.)

You know, maybe being Wheat Leader ain't all it's, ahem, cracked up to be.

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