Parliament

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

 

EU’s agriculture market access offer falls short

EU’s agriculture market access offer falls short

The European Union’s offer on agricultural market access represents an improvement on its previous position, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

“But the tariff cuts and quota expansion it proposes are still too small, and the loopholes too numerous.”

The European Union circulated a proposal on 28 October covering the treatment of agriculture and a range of non-agricultural issues in the WTO Doha negotiations.

Mr Sutton said the EU has a leadership role to play in these negotiations. And other major players have been signalling new flexibility.

“For these reasons there were high expectations of the EU offer. We particularly needed movement on agricultural market access”.

Mr Sutton said that New Zealand and other Cairns Group members would want to look at the EU proposal carefully.

“But my initial reaction is one of disappointment at what they have delivered.”

Mr Sutton recalled that the commitment, made by all WTO members in launching the Doha negotiations, was to substantial improvement in market access for all products.

“The EU seems to have fallen short once again from real commitments in agriculture. Indeed, initial analysis suggested the proposal would effectively provide a carve-out for some key products of interest to New Zealand exporters.

“My concern is that there is not enough in this proposal to unblock the agriculture negotiations. Nor is there enough to persuade developing countries to come to the party with significant offers on industrial tariffs and services.

“So we don’t yet have the wider balance needed for a deal”.

Mr Sutton noted that a draft package for the WTO ministerial meeting scheduled for 13-18 December in Hong Kong was due to be circulated by the end of November.

“In light of this offer from the EU it is not immediately clear how we can meet that target.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages