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Trans-Tasman Trade Ministers' Woolshed Meeting

23 June 1999 PR55/99

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister, Rt. Hon Tim Fischer and New Zealand's Trade Minister, Hon Lockwood Smith will hold a public meeting in North Canterbury on Sunday, 27 June 1999, Federated Farmers announced today.

Federated Farmers President Malcolm Bailey said that Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) would be hosting the two Ministers and his Australian counterpart, National Farmers Federation President Ian Donges, at the property of Murray Taggart, 2045 Oxford Rd, Cust, North Canterbury.

"The meeting is very timely, given important developments for New Zealand and Australia with the threat of trade restrictions on both countries' lamb exports to the US, and the World Trade Organisation starting agriculture negotiations at the end of this year, probably in the context of a comprehensive negotiating round."

"This meeting has been organised to give a human face to trade policy for New Zealand farmers. Trade policy decisions are often made in the distant capitals of Washington, Geneva and Brussels. Having the two Ministers together on one platform provides farmers with an excellent opportunity to exchange views face to face with the New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers," Mr Bailey said.

"The meeting also takes place two days before the APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade, which will include discussions on the potential linkage between APEC and the WTO."

"The format of the meeting will involve the two Ministers, myself and Mr Donges addressing the meeting, and then taking questions from the floor," Mr Bailey said.

"Federated Farmers is delighted to be hosting such a significant event, and we urge farmers and anyone with an interest in international trade to attend Sunday's meeting," Mr Bailey concluded.

ENDS

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