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New global alliance for agriculture launched

20 April 2005

New global alliance for agriculture launched

Meat & Wool New Zealand has added its support to the new Global Alliance for Liberalized Trade in Food and Agriculture, says General Manager Trade and Market Development Anne Berryman.

“The Global Alliance initiative is a timely demonstration of the wide support from across major sectors of the international agriculture and food industry, for an ambitious deal on agriculture in the lead up to the Sixth WTO Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December.”

The Global Alliance for Liberalized Trade in Food and Agriculture, launched in Geneva last night, brings together 38 organisations representing agriculture and food producers, processors, distributors, retailers and consumers from more than 15 countries. It has been formed to advocate for global liberalisation of international trade in agriculture and food and has issued an international call to WTO Members to reach a comprehensive agreement on agriculture for the Hong Kong Ministerial meeting.

“The Doha Round holds enormous potential for further liberalising trade in agriculture, but WTO Members must commit to a high level of ambition for this to be realised,” she said.

WTO Members agreed in Doha to substantially reduce trade-distorting domestic support, eliminate export subsidies and substantially improve market access. The details of how this will be achieved are yet to be agreed. The outline of a new deal on agriculture is expected to be agreed in Hong Kong in December.

Tariffs on agricultural and food products around the world average over 60% and more than US$300 billion a year is spent on agricultural subsidies. The Global Alliance has called for deep cuts to trade-distorting domestic support, an early date for elimination of all forms of export subsidies and deep and harmonising cuts to all tariffs.

To view the Global Alliance see: http://www.cafta.org/Global_Alliance.html

ENDS

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