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The 'Free Trade' Farce Continues

Green Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street today said free trade was being shown up as the myth it is by US moves to lift subsidies for its farmers to NZ $400 billion over 10 years.

"While New Zealand Governments are all too willing to talk up the benefits of free trade deals the truth of the matter is free trade is an illusion," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"If there was ever any doubt following recent US moves to protect its lamb and steel industries this latest example must finally explode the myth that the United States supports free trade, despite them signing up to do so last year at Doha.

"The US does not support free trade when it is to their disadvantage and it is just ridiculous for New Zealand to continue to pursue this fictional nirvana in light of evidence like this."

Mr Ewen-Street said 47 per cent of US farm subsidies currently go to only eight per cent of farmers - the big corporate farmers and their contractors.

"US family farmers do not want subsidies - they want fair prices and the break up of the corporates.

"United States agribusiness corporations donate millions of dollars to the Republican Party and as a result these corporates are being well looked after," he said.

"I am totally supportive of fair trade where farmers, especially in the third world, receive fair prices for their product. But it would be foolish for New Zealand to continue to pursue free trade deals.

"There has never been such a thing as free trade because countries always look out for their own industries. We cannot take the risk of throwing off all our protections when the world's largest players are doing the opposite," said Mr Ewen-Street.


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