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Federated Farmers Welcomes Cairns Group Proposal

Federated Farmers Welcomes Cairns Group Proposal

Federated Farmers has welcomed the Cairns Group Negotiating Proposal for Market Access released today. The proposal sets out the Cairns Group's position on market access for Doha World Trade Organisation round.

"The Cairns Group proposal, if adopted, would result in significant benefits to New Zealand farmers and exporters," said Federated Farmers President Tom Lambie.

"Currently our exports are constrained by quotas and tariffs in a range of markets, which can limit the amount of product we can export and/or add significant cost.

"Adoption of the Cairns Group Proposal would mean greatly improved market access for New Zealand's exports and decreased tariffs imposed on our exports.

"A key feature of the Cairns Group Negotiating Proposal is that it provides for special treatment of developing and least developed countries. Countries that fall into these categories would be afforded additional flexibility to allow for agricultural adjustment."

Key features of the proposal include:

* Cutting tariffs significantly to reduce all developed country tariffs by 25 percent or lower. * Expanding developed country tariff quota access by adding 20 percent of domestic consumption. * Improving tariff quota administration. * Eliminating the special safeguard mechanism for developed countries. Developing countries will be permitted access to a new mechanism which would operate under an agreed range of circumstances. * Also for developing countries, lower tariff reduction and lower tariff quota expansion phased in over a longer period to allow for adjustment.

The Cairns Group proposal has been endorsed by: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, New Zealand, Paraguay, Philippines, Thailand, Uruguay and South Africa.

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