Jeff Reczek

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Take a moment to consider the life of a United States farmer 150 years ago. Though it involved considerably more manual labor, the world seemed simple then. Farming was a family business where the children grew up to sustain the farm like their parents before them. With a little grit and hard work, jobs were secure, food was certain and as long as the weather remained tolerable, business was thriving. Fast forward to the globalized world of today. Few family farms are prosperous and it seems that the only sure way to make money is to invest in a gigantic farm corporation that sells its products worldwide. Competition is fierce and many have gone as far as to suggest that theU.S.farming industry is in crises. This paper is concerned with the consequences of current policies that employ trade distorting subsidies and whereU. S.policy needs to move in order to provide a stable farm economy both domestically and internationally. The international community, specifically the World Trade Organization (WTO) has placed a great amount of pressure on the U.S. to liberalize its trade and this paper wishes to address the specific consequences trade liberalization has on American agriculture. Contrary to the beliefs of many farmers, one can see that trade liberalization not only positively impacts the long term activities of farmers, it also empowers the US consumer and aids international farmers and citizens in their effort to industrialize and become self sufficient.