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Promoting an Open and Equitable Global Food System

IPCSpecial Events

Classifying Biofuel Subsidies:

Farm Bill and WTO Considerations

September 14, 2010

12:00 - 1:30 pm

Rayburn Office Building

Room B - 340

Governments use a number of measures to support the production and use of biofuels; in the U.S. biofuels subsidies totaled nearly $6billion in 2009.  Corn use for ethanol in the U.S. has expanded corn demand by nearly 30%, driving corn prices, along with prices of other commodities, higher.  Questions have been raised about whether such support should be considered as agricultural subsidies and about whether and how such support is being notified to the WTO. 

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Program on the American and Global Economy and the International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC) held a discussion on biofuels support in the context of the farm bill and WTO disciplines on subsidies.

Agenda & Presentations:

Chair: Kent Hughes, Direct of the Program on American and Global Economy

Moderator: Charlotte Hebebrand, Chief Executive, IPC


  • Randy Schnepf: Specialist in Agricultural Policy, Congressional Research Service, will provide background on current U.S. biofuels policy and related issues in the context of the debate on the next farm bill as drawn from CRS Reports "Farm Safety Net Programs: Issues for the Next Farm Bill" by Dennis A. Shields, Jim Monke, and Randy Schnepf, and "Agriculture-Based Biofuels: Overview and Emerging Issues" by Randy Schnepf. Download Presentation [PDF, 264 KB]
  • Tim Josling: Sr. Fellow and Professor Emeritus, Institute for International Studies, Stanford University Professor and IPC member, will present forthcoming IPC paper Biofuel and Biomass Subsidies in the US, EU, and Brazil: Towards a Transparent System of Notification by Tim Josling, David Blandford and Jane Earley. Download Presentation [PDF, 96 KB]



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