Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Multilateral Trade Round Vital For Agriculture

An ambitious agenda for agriculture had to be included in the proposed new round of world trade negotiations, New Zealand agriculture and trade minister Jim Sutton told counterparts from nations attending the Cairns Group of agricultural trading nations meeting in Uruguay today.

Ministers from the World Trade Organisation are to meet in Doha, Qatar, in November to try to get a new round of multilateral trade negotiations under way.

Speaking at the first working session of the Cairns Group meeting this morning, Mr Sutton said it was necessary for all World Trade Organisation member countries to continue agricultural reform, and it was urgent that this happen so as to maintain the credibility of the world trading system.

'Ideally, we would like to see ministers in Doha showing the will to recognise the need to continue their agricultural reforms during the negotiations and, wherever possible, to continue tariff and subsidy reductions.'

Mr Sutton warned other Cairns Group members that more than just agriculture would need to be on the table at Doha.

'I am convinced that the best outcome for agriculture will be from the situation where agriculture is part of a broader package. To put it simply, to get what we need on agriculture, we need more than agriculture in the negotiations.'

Mr Sutton said he was optimistic about the prospects for realising the Cairns Group vision during the negotiations - that is, the elimination of all forms of export subsidies, major increases in market access, and significant reductions in trade-distorting domestic support.'



Meeting chairman and Australian trade minister Mark Vaile said when opening the meeting today that the eyes of all the other members of the World Trade Organisation were focused on the strength of the Cairns Group.

'It is the solidarity of this particular group of countries, given our diversity, that impresses a lot of our colleagues.'

Mr Sutton said it was clear from bilateral meetings he had held and from speeches by other ministers at the Cairns Group meeting that developing nations were angry that they had failed to share fairly in the gains from the last big round of world trade negotiations, the Uruguay Round.

'Trade is the path to future prosperity for developing nations. But many developing nations feel prevented from taking full part in the international trading system because of tariffs and other trade barriers. They are unable to compete with the massive subsidy schemes of developed nations.'

Mr Sutton said it was important that developing nations received their full share of benefits of the international trading system.

He said New Zealand was unique amongst developed nations because of its strong reliance on agricultural trade, and there were many areas of common interest between New Zealand and developing nations.

'We all want to see an international system that allows free-flowing trade in agricultural products.'

The Cairns Group recognised that need and was working to achieve benefits for its members, both developing and developed.

Mr Sutton said the New Zealand Government recognised the importance of agriculture reforms for New Zealand exporters and consumers.

'Some exporters face tariffs of up to 300 per cent of the value of their goods. Others face non-tariff barriers, such as restrictive and complex regulation. A recent study suggested such barriers - particularly on products such as food and beverages - cost us more than $1 billion a year.'

He said Government ministers and officials were putting effort into trade negotiations to reduce those barriers to our trade.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: The End Of ‘Objectivity’ In Journalism

... and the dawn of something much better?
2019 looks like it might well be another really bad, terrible, not so good year for the traditional journalism model globally. Already in January three leading US digital outlets—BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, and Vice announced layoffs that have left many accomplished journalists unemployed. Consolidation of journalism looks set to continue unabated as larger (sharky) media conglomerates swallow up smaller players globally. We also appear to be witnessing the death throes of the concept of ‘objective’ truth in journalism. However, perhaps that is not at all as bad as it sounds, and we are just finally waking up to the reality that it never really existed in the first place... More>>

 
 

Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>

ALSO:

Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>

ALSO:

Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>

ALSO:

Party Politics In Tax Morale Survey: SSC To Seek Answers From IRD

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins has today asked the State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes to examine IRD’s reported inappropriate use of a public survey. More>>

ALSO:

Health: Prohibiting Smoking In Vehicles Carrying Children

Under the change, Police will be able to require people to stop smoking in their cars if children (under 18) are present. Police will also be able to use their discretion to give warnings, refer people to stop-smoking support services, or issue an infringement fee of $50... It is expected that this amendment will become law by the end of 2019. More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Day: Nationwide Events Commemorate Treaty Signing

“From large-scale events attracting tens of thousands of people such as those at Hoani Waititi Marae in Auckland and the Porirua Waterfront, to smaller gatherings in areas as far flung as the Chatham Islands and to the significant commemorations at Waitangi, these events are an opportunity for us to reflect on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels