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Polson Appointment Good News

21 July 2005
PR 104 (2005)

Polson Appointment Good News

The appointment of Alistair Polson to the position of Special Agricultural Trade Envoy (SATE) is another positive step by a government firmly committed to trade liberalisation, said Tom Lambie, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

"The appointment is really good news. Alastair will do a very good job," Mr Lambie said. Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton announced the appointment today.

Alistair has long-established international farmer contacts from his time with Federated Farmers, and follows in the footsteps of former Federated Farmers' presidents Brian Chamberlin and Malcolm Bailey into the role as special trade envoy.

During his three years as president (1999-2002), Alistair helped other farmer organisations around the world understand the New Zealand experience of agricultural trade liberalisation and the removal of taxpayer handouts to farmers.

"Alistair knows the challenges of reforms as he farmed through a period of enormous changes in the 1980s and 1990s. His experience positions him well as an advocate for farming without subsidies and a credible spokesman on the importance of liberalising international trade," Mr Lambie said.

"We urgently need multilateral progress in the 148-member World Trade Organisation. A breakthrough will introduce rules that can only benefit New Zealand and all world trade.

"However, progress is slow on new rules for market access, domestic support and export competition. Positive steps towards a stronger commitment from governments are needed or we risk missing out in the December round of talks," Mr Lambie said.

ENDS


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