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Multilateral Trade Talks Welcomed by Farmers

MEDIA RELEASE

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22 September 2008

Multilateral Trade Talks Welcomed by Federated Farmers

Federated Farmers welcomes news the United States will enter negotiations on joining the Comprehensive Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement.

Don Nicolson, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand commented,

“The potential for New Zealand in this is immense. The United States is our second largest export market at around $4.1 billion. In terms of agricultural products, it is our largest export market for both meat and dairy products.”

While a comprehensive global agreement via the World Trade Organisation (WTO) remains Federated Farmers objective, the potential for a FTA with the World’s largest economy was something to be savoured. Mr Nicolson continued,

“Moves to negotiate multilateral agreements with likeminded countries by the United States, sends a clear signal to the WTO to get Doha back on track. We welcome this with both arms.”

Federated Farmers acknowledged negotiations to be the start of a process and not its end. Negotiations could take some time. A Comprehensive Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement could also face added delay as a result of the current United States Presidential campaign. That aside, Federated Farmers felt it to be a great step forward for New Zealand. Mr Nicolson concluded,

“The United States has been a very high priority for an FTA. It’s great consistent perseverance and a commitment to free trade by New Zealand has now seen the United States come on board with us.”

ends

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