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Bailey Re-Appointment Shows Free Trade Committment

Bailey Re-Appointment Shows Government Commitment To Free Trade

Federated Farmers President Alistair Polson today congratulated the Government on its decision to retain the position of Special Agriculture Trade Envoy, and the subsequent re-appointment of Malcolm Bailey for a further year.

"This strong and continued commitment to better agricultural trade access and a liberalised international trading environment for New Zealand farmers is very welcome news and most appreciated," Mr Polson said.

Trade in agricultural products is highly distorted with average tariffs of 50% compared to just 10% for industrial goods.

"There is a great deal of work to be done before the launch of the WTO round to convince protectionist economies to end their trade distorting policies. The biggest losers under the present situation are the efficient agricultural producers like New Zealand."

"The average tariff cost for livestock farmers exceeds $30,000 per year."

Many of New Zealand's products also compete in markets where prices are lowered by oversupply from other nations' subsidised products.

"It is essential that all New Zealanders, especially the farming community, realise the value of trade liberalisation for our export driven economy."

Mr Polson said, "The debate on free trade is pointless. The benefits of free trade are so well established now that to argue the issue is like debating with the Flat Earth Society - a waste of everyone's time."

ENDS

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