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VOA慢速英语《农业报道》第176课

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From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report.
这里是美国之音慢速英语农业报道。

Congress has been debating a new Farm Bill -- a huge 5-year plan that includes subsidy programmes for American farmers.
美国国会一直在讨论一项新的农业法案,这是一项庞大的包含了美国农民补贴方案的五年计划。

Government payments make up eight percent of the income on farmers growing such major crops as maize, wheat, soybeans, cotton and peanuts. That eight percent is one of the lowest rates among developed countries. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says the average among its members is twenty percent.
政府补贴占到了农民种植玉米、小麦、大豆、棉花和花生这类主要农作物收入的8%。这个8%在发达国家中是最低的比率之一。经济合作与发展组织表示,其成员的平均水平是20%。

One reason for the low payments is high global crop prices. The subsidy that pays farmers when the markets are down has not been used much recently. Grain prices are way up, farmers have earned record or near-record profits in the past few years. But they still receive about $5 billion per year in what are called “direct payments.” These payments go to farmers whether crop prices are high or low. Farmers do not even have to grow a crop to get direct payments.
低补贴的原因之一是全球农作物价格高,市场价格低时支付给农民的补贴已经很久没有启用。在过去几年里,粮食价格一路上涨,农民获得了几乎创纪录的利润。但他们每年仍然得到了50亿美元的所谓直接补贴。无论农作物价格高低农民都能获得这些补贴。农民们甚至无需种植作物就能获得直接补贴。

But Congress want to cut $20 to $40 billion from the Farm Bill. Even the largest farmers' group, the American Farm Bureau Federation, expects that direct payments will soon end. Mary Kay Thatcher is the chief lobbyist for the group.
但美国国会希望通过这一农业法案削减200到400亿美元。即使是美国最大的农民组织--美国农场事务联合会也预计直接补贴将会很快结束。玫琳凯·撒切尔(Mary Kay Thatcher)是该组织的首席游说家。

"Well, I think politically people feel like it's farmers getting money for doing nothing."
“我认为在政治上,人们觉得农民不干任何事就拿钱。”

But there are proposals to increase subsidies once crop prices go down again. One version would raise the market price below which farmers receive a payment. Another version would protect their total income when prices fall.
但也有建议要求在农作物价格再次下跌时提高补贴。其中一种意见是在农民获得补贴的情况下提高市场价格,另一种意见是在价格下跌是保证他们的总收入。

David Orden is an economist with the International Food Policy Institute. He says both versions would anger farmers in other countries, that is because American farmers would receive payments when farmers in other countries are also dealing with falling prices.
大卫·奥登(David Orden)是国际食品政策研究所的经济学家。他表示,两种意见都会激怒其它国家的农民。因为美国农民可以获得补贴,而其它国家的农民也要面对价格下跌。

"Right at that point they would see the U.S. expanding its subsidies and they’d shake their heads and say, ‘There goes the U.S. again, protecting its farmers right at the time that we’re feeling the pain.’”
“在这一点上,他们会看到美国扩大补贴,他们会大摇其头地说:‘美国又在这时候保护农民,而我们在受伤害。'”

But Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack tells VOA that the payments would not hurt farmers in other countries.
但农业部长汤姆·维尔萨克(Tom Vilsack)对美国之音表示,补贴不会伤害其它国家的农民。

"I’m confident that the work that has been done up to this point by the U.S. and the work that will be done in the future will not get us in a position where we are doing more than the international community will allow."
“我相信美国在这方面已经做的和将来要做的,不会超出国际社会允许的范围。”

David Orden says that is probably true. Under World Trade Organizaiton rules, the United States can spend $19 billion on the kind of subsidies proposed in the new Farm Bill. Mr Orden says American farmers would have to face an especially bad year to go over that limit.
奥登表示,这可能是事实。根据世贸组织规则,美国可以在新农业法案中提出的这类补贴上支出190亿美元。奥登先生表示,美国农民可能必须要面对特别糟糕的一年。

Negotiators have been working for more than ten years on new WTO rules that would lower that limit, but Mr Orden says no progress is being made.

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