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FFNZ Welcomes Walking the Talk on Trade

FFNZ Welcomes Walking the Talk on Trade

Farmers welcome New Zealand's bold move aimed at energizing the Doha Round negotiations, says Federated Farmers President Tom Lambie.

As part of the "industrials" negotiations in Geneva yesterday, New Zealand ambassador to the WTO Tim Groser proposed the elimination of remaining tariffs on all non-agricultural products.

The Federation congratulates the government for its continued commitment to "Walk the Talk.

"By placing such a bold proposal on the WTO Doha round negotiating table New Zealand will effectively be lifting the stakes for an ambitious outcome across the board.

"Successfully extending zero tariffs into the non- agricultural areas will open up growth and employment opportunities for all developing and developed economies. Developed economies will see the price of manufactured inputs decline thus increasing the spending power of their consumers and developing countries will be able to add value to their traditional products without incurring punishing tariffs.

New Zealand pays $185 million in tariffs each year to access export markets. Not only will this money be saved in a zero tariff regime, we can expect the expansion in New Zealand of further processing of products such as timber as manufacturers take advantage of our competitive cost structure.

"New Zealand has already clearly demonstrated tariffs are not necessary to protect jobs. Since New Zealand's tariff reform process commenced in the mid 80's jobs in New Zealand have increased by 300,000 and agriculture's contribution to GDP has increased from 14.2% to 17%.

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