January 28, 2005

Crapo Cites â??Critical Timingâ?? Of Trade Forums

Senator will moderate three forums in Idaho over next two months

Washington, DC - Noting that foreign trade of agriculture commodities is entering a â??criticalâ?? phase, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today announced a series of farm trade meetings aimed at bringing farmers, ranchers, commodity groups and other interested parties together to discuss interests and concerns with current and upcoming trade agreements, ways to break down existing trade barriers and expand new market opportunities for Idaho agriculture. Crapo, who is involved in foreign trade issues as a member of the Senate Banking Committeeâ??s subcommittee on foreign trade, is announcing three trade forums he will host in Idaho during February and March.â??We as a nation are in the process of negotiating or renewing several potential trade agreements, and there are government actions like the BSE investigations, that have the potential to remake the face of foreign trade involving agriculture both here in Idaho and across the nation,â?? Crapo said. â??Members of Congress need on-the-ground input to keep abreast of the potential effects these trade talks and other actions will have on a major component of our stateâ??s economy.â?? Crapo, who attended both the Seattle and Cancun meetings of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said he remains confident that trade negotiators realize agricultural issues carry clout during foreign trade talks because agriculture is being discussed at the outset of such discussions. But he also notes ongoing negotiations, such as those involving Austrailia or Central America, still pose situations where certain producers could suffer harm if the right deal is not struck.Crapoâ??s Agriculture Trade Forums are planned as follows:Lewiston Agriculture Trade ForumDate:Saturday, February 14, 2004 Time:3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.Location: Lewiston Community Center 1424 Main Street Lewiston, IdahoTwin Falls Agriculture Trade ForumDate:Saturday, March 6, 2004Time:2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.Location: College of Southern Idaho Taylor Room #276315 Falls AvenueTwin Falls, IdahoBoise Agriculture Trade ForumDate:Wednesday, March 17, 2004Time:2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.Location:Boise City HallCity Council Chambers150 North Capitol BoulevardThird FloorBoise, Idaho# # #