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WTO Agriculture Negotiations Must Continue

For Immediate Release
2 April, 2003

GLOBAL DAIRY ALLIANCE: WTO AGRICULTURE NEGOTIATIONS MUST CONTINUE

The Global Dairy Alliance today expressed its disappointment at the failure of the agriculture negotiations in Geneva to agree on the modalities for the WTO agricultural negotiations.

The Alliance represents dairy exporters in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. Its objective is to promote trade liberalisation in the WTO Doha Development Round.

For the Alliance, key components of the Round for dairy products are

* The elimination of export subsidies

* Significant increases in market access

* Substantial reductions in domestic support

The failure to reach agreement in Geneva is a major blow to efforts to liberalise the highly distorted trade in dairy products. It is essential that present barriers are removed or significantly improved. This will be to the benefit of unsubsidised exporters and to consumers worldwide. Major developed countries have a crucial role to play in the reform process.

While the inability of the major participants to agree on modalities will delay the negotiating process for trade liberalisation within the Round, it is vital that continued efforts should be made to reach agreement prior to the Ministerial meeting in Cancun in September.

The Alliance strongly supports the continuation of the process in Geneva and encourages all participants to apply themselves to reach agreement.

-ends-


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