CONSUMING INDUSTRIES APPLAUD BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S DECISION TO LET WHEAT GLUTEN QUOTA EXPIRE
Washington, DC - The Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) applauded President George W. Bush's decision to let the three-year old quota on wheat gluten from the European Union (EU) expire on June 1, 2001.
"This is an important decision for downstream users of wheat gluten, as well as for the U.S. corn gluten industry that has faced retaliatory tariffs from the EU. There are numerous companies, workers and families that will benefit from the end of this quota," said CITAC Chairman Jon Jenson.
In a letter to President Bush last week, Jenson urged that the wheat gluten quota not be extended. He wrote, "Trade restrictions should only be used . . . when the benefits clearly outweigh the losses incurred by consuming industries and the American public." Based on damage to industries that depend upon these imports to make their own products, as well as those related agricultural sectors indirectly hurt by retaliatory actions, "the wheat gluten quota does not meet this standard." In addition, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled that the quota violates international trade rules.
Jenson also pointed out that when downstream industries face the negative consequences of trade restrictions, so do consumers. "Finally, it is the end consumer who will suffer as a result of paying higher prices for bread, baked goods, meat, breakfast cereal, and hundreds of other products that depend on the availability of reasonably priced grains," wrote Jenson.
On Friday's decision to let the quota expire, Jenson said, "We are counting on the Administration to follow through on their commitment to open and free trade on other pending issues. The wheat gluten quota elimination is a perfect example of how this Administration can protect American companies and workers by allowing them to prosper in the global market."
CITAC is a coalition of companies and organizations who are committed to promoting a trade arena where U.S. consuming industries and their workers have access to global markets for raw materials and other imports that enhance the international competitiveness of U.S. firms.