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Cairns Group committed to Agricultural Trade Refor


21 October 2002 PR141/02

Cairns Group committed to Agricultural Trade Reform

Cairns Group Farm Leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to meaningful reform of world agricultural trade in the Doha Negotiations.

Federated Farmers President Tom Lambie and CEO Tony St Clair are representing New Zealand at the Cairns Group Farm Leaders Meeting in Santa Cruz Bolivia.

"The Doha Round is the "opportunity of the century" to address ongoing support and protectionism in world agriculture, said Mr Lambie.

"Annual subsidies to farmers in Europe, Japan, Korea and the United States, among other, amount to over US$310 billion a year which impose enormous costs on agricultural producers in the Cairns Group.

"The Cairns Group leaders are not willing to accept another limited set of outcomes and the deficiencies in the current agreement must be addressed.

"Nor are we willing to let the agricultural negotiations to be thwarted by some countries efforts to only make agricultural concessions on the basis of reciprocal concessions in the areas of non-trade concerns.

"The Cairns Group has submitted a comprehensive and far reaching package of proposals in agricultural reform in the Doha negotiations.

"We fully support the nomination of a specific date for the eventual elimination of all tariffs and trade and production-distorting subsidies.

"As representatives of agricultural producers, we support the progression and strengthening of the Cairn's Group proposals representing the three pillars of trade reform - export subsidies, market access and domestic support.

"Success in the Doha round will only be achieved if all WTO members are prepared to adopt bold and ambitious goals for agricultural trade reform.

"From a New Zealand perspective it has been very encouraging to part of a group of nations that are so strongly committed to meaningful reform of world agriculture trade in the WTO Doha negotiations."

ENDS

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