Parliament

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

 

Draft WTO text needs more work


Draft WTO text needs more work

A draft text for the World Trade Organisation ministerial meeting next week was progress, but much more work was needed, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

WTO General Council chairman Ambassador Carlos Perez del Castillo published a draft textfor Ministers to consider at the 5th WTO Ministerial meeting in Cancún (10-14 September) in Geneva today.

Mr Sutton said Mr Perez del Castillo and the council had clearly worked hard to deliver the draft.

"But I'd have to say it's not yet everything which is needed."

The document deals with all the issues that ministers will debate in Cancún. It affects New Zealand's key export interests in areas such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and other 'non-agriculture' or general industrial goods, as well as provisions to strengthen the international rule of law.

Mr Sutton said the draft text was a serious start.

"But we still have a long way to go. I have directed my officials to keep working over the coming days to raise the level of ambition, particularly in agriculture and non-agriculture market access. We're after fundamental reform in these areas, which will be good for New Zealand, and good for the WTO membership, particularly developing countries.

"This text falls short of what we need to do in Cancún. Export subsidies must go in this Round. The text still pussy-foots around that.

"We need enhanced market access for agriculture sorted out. This text still plays hide-and-seek with what it actually means.

"Even in the case of access for other, non-agriculture, goods, it's hard to get a clear sense of direction. There is not enough precision on an ambitious formula.

This draft text is not agreed. It is a proposal by the Chairman of the WTO General Council for consideration by WTO Members.

Mr Sutton said there was quite a way to go before he would be satisfied.

"I am relieved that we are at last pointing in the right direction. But none of the really hard decisions have been taken and there is still everything to play for." The draft text will now be debated intensively by ambassadors in Geneva.

"And whatever happens in Geneva, it's still what is decided by ministers in Cancún that counts. If we can get a satisfactory text over the next few days in Geneva to help us, I will be delighted. I am directing New Zealand officials to work with that aim.

Mr Sutton will lead the New Zealand delegation to the WTO meeting in Cancun.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>

 

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election