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Comprehensive federal agricultural legislation occurs in the United States (US) on a five-year schedule. While year-to-year changes in agricultural policy do occur, the period 1991-93 has been less eventful than many previous ones. What changes have occurred to affect the course of the agricultural sector and agricultural policy are largely external to the farm bill and farm legislation. These include the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), tentatively agreed in August 1992; the on-going negotiations in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the related dispute with the European Community (EC) over oilseed subsidies; the emergence in connection with both NAFTA and GATT of the "trade and environment" issue; a continuing dispute over wetlands and the proper level of compensation if they are restricted by government action; and, of course. the presidential election of 1992 and the probable changes in course under a new Clinton administration. A brief summary of federal legislative actions impinging on agriculture begins this review article; however, the general analysis and tabular summary provided in our 1990 review (Erdman and Runge 1990) will still suffice as a guide to extant farm policy under the 1990 farm bill. The probable impacts of NAFTA are considered in the second section. The state of play in the GATT negotiations and the related oilseeds dispute with the EC are discussed in the third. while in the fourth, the "trade and environment" issue is discussed. Domestic US environmental issues, focusing on wetlands. are covered in the fifth, and in the final section an outlook on the course of the Clinton administration in the years leading to the 1995 farm bill is offered.


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