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Urgent Focus on WTO Needed

Urgent Focus on WTO Needed

A positive outcome for New Zealand at the WTO has never been more desperately needed.

"Comments made yesterday by the United States Trade Representative Robert Zoellick have dashed New Zealand's hope for a free trade agreement with America because of opposition from US farm groups, says Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) President Tom Lambie.

"New Zealand and in particular New Zealand agriculture cannot afford to be left out in the cold when the United States goes ahead with an FTA with Australia.

"Investment in the WTO Round in Cancun has never more important. Agriculture was always going to be difficult to keep on the negotiating table, and this statement reinforces the need for New Zealand to focus its energies on the upcoming WTO round.

"While the increased funding for the trade negotiations team in the budget was very welcome, Mr Zoellick's comments reinforce that it is probably too little and could be too late."

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