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U.S. pushes for transparent food production, open markets

The U.S. will push for more transparent food production and open markets to reduce food price volatility at Thursday's meeting of big economy agricultural ministers, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. will push for more transparent food production and open markets to reduce food price volatility at Thursday's meeting of big economy agricultural ministers, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said.

Speaking the day before the meeting of Group of 20 agriculture ministers, Mr. Vilsack said he hoped countries could be discouraged from imposing food export bans, which were a factor in food price spikes in 2008 and again in the past year after Russia banned wheat exports in July 2010 amid a drought.

"It's difficult to tell a country what they can and can't do," he told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Wednesday at the U.S. embassy in Paris. But, he said, there's an "international consensus on what are appropriate practices." Mr. Vilsack said Russia's desire to join the World Trade Organization should be a factor in it ceasing to ban exports in future. Such bans distorted prices over the long term, he said.

For more, see: U.S. to Discourage Food Export Bans

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