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With Friends like the US And Europe, Who Needs Competitors?

29 JANUARY 2016

With Friends like the US And Europe, Who Needs Competitors?

The government and Fonterra have their heads buried in the sand with subsidised European and American farmers stealing our market share.

“The experts at Rabobank who predicted a dairy recovery in 2015, then revised that to 2016, are now saying it will be in early 2017,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“All the time Kiwi farmers are being ripped off as Mr Key ignores Russia at their cost.

“As Mr Key calls on New Zealand exporters not to exploit EU and US sanctions on Russia, the EU in a twist of ingratitude, has piled into our markets. They have increased dairy exports to China by a third and even in Saudi Arabia, EU dairy exports are up about 10 per cent while overall, our exports there fell.

“But with friends like the EU and the US, who needs competitors? Our unsubsidised farmers compete against the €50bn paid to European farmers while Uncle Sam doles out US$30bn to their farmers each year.

“Only last week, the US even cleared the way for European apple and pears displaced from Russia to enter the US and that will only depress the prices our growers get.

“It’s all as far from ‘free trade’ as we are from the North Pole, which is why we must ditch the anti-Russian rhetoric and get back into the world’s number two dairy import market and number one beef import market.

“Above all, we need to treat ‘Made in New Zealand’ as an asset and not a begging bowl for trade agreements like the TPPA. Whole of government support must be put in behind World Trade Organisation efforts to end subsides and trade protectionism.

“Frankly, an absence of leadership on trade and diplomacy means we are squandering our seat on the UN’s Security Council,” Mr Peters said.


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