Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Agriculture dumping end, good news for NZ farmers

Oxfam: The beginning of the end for agriculture dumping Good news for New Zealand farmers

Geneva (June 18, 2004) – International agency Oxfam said that last night’s ruling at the WTO against the US cotton subsidy regime vindicates the claims by Brazil and West African countries that US subsidies depress cotton prices and harm cotton farmers around the world. Today’s WTO ruling confirms the preliminary ruling last month in favour of Brazil against the $3.2 billion US cotton program. Brazil’s claim was supported by four West African countries.

“This is, above all, a victory for the 15 million people in West Africa who depend on cotton for their livelihoods. They can now have hope that the US government will stop destroying their livelihoods through politically motivated subsidies. The challenge for the international community, including the New Zealand government, is to put pressure on the US to ensure that the trade distorting subsidies end.

“This ruling attacks the multi-billion-dollar corporate welfare at the heart of global trade,” said Oxfam’s Barry Coates. “It is a wake-up call for the US, EU and other rich countries to change the way they’ve mismanaged and manipulated world trade rules for years in their own interests.”

The WTO has found that US cotton subsidies violate global trade rules. The case challenged US use of export credits and other hidden subsidies to dodge promises it had made to reduce dumping. The panel also found that the US misreported other domestic farm programmes as “non-trade distorting” when in fact they are.

The finding will have profound implications on current trade negotiations. It will create huge pressure on the US and other developed countries to reform their agriculture policies. The ruling effectively calls for the dismantlement of close to 50% of export credits used by the US, and puts pressure on the EU to eliminate export subsidies.

But the ruling goes beyond the category of export subsidies. In recent years, the US has made reforms to its farm programmes to continue massive subsidies to farmers, while complying with WTO rules. However, the ruling states that these programmes fail to comply with WTO requirements that limit trade distorting farm subsidies.

Although this case applies principally to cotton dumping, the same principles will apply on other highly subsidized commodities such as rice, soybeans, dairy and meat. The ruling will strengthen those who call for sharp reductions in subsidies on all major products because current subsidies lead to dumping.

Coates said, “New Zealand farmers should cheer this ruling. It not only implies that a large portion of the US subsidies to other agricultural products, such as dairy and beef are likely to be illegal under the WTO’s rules, but it also casts doubt over the legality of many of the EU’s subsidies. This signals an end to the creative accounting that has hidden trade distorting subsidies in loopholes that the US, the EU and other rich nations created for themselves during the WTO Uruguay Round.

“The New Zealand government should be more strongly supporting the developing countries that have taken the leadership in the WTO in bringing this case. It is time we declared our support for them.

“Most immediately, this WTO ruling puts cotton back on the centre-stage in world trade negotiations. The bargaining momentum is now firmly behind calls from the West African countries and Brazil for reform of US cotton subsidies,” said Coates.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election