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Doha: US Dairy & Global Dairy Alliance Want Action

US Dairy Industry and Global Dairy Alliance Want Action in Doha Round

As the deadline for achieving modalities in agriculture looms closer, the US Dairy Industry and the Global Dairy Alliance (GDA) want to see an effective formula for eliminating dairy export subsidies and significant progress in levelling the playing field through reform of market access in the Doha Round. This is set out in a joint letter delivered today from the U.S. industry and the GDA to WTO Director –General, Pascal Lamy and Agricultural Negotiating Group Chairman, Ambassador Crawford Falconer.

The letter stresses the importance of ensuring that a substantial part of the elimination of export subsidies be achieved by 2010, as committed to by WTO members at the December 2005 Hong Kong Ministerial. Furthermore, the reduction process must use the same formula for both volume and value commitments in order to have a timely and effective impact in reducing export subsidies.

But the progress on export subsidies must be linked to a good outcome on market access that provides meaningful access into all markets and brings down higher tariffs by a greater proportion than lower tariffs. Jaime Castaneda, Senior Vice President of the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council, said “It is imperative that dairy export subsidies are eliminated swiftly without any exceptions for heavy users of these supports. We all agree that market access reform must be part of the Doha Round but it must focus on opening all markets, not just those with relatively low tariffs.”

Osvaldo Cappellini, the Chairman of the GDA said: “There needs to be much more progress on market access including the formulae for reducing tariffs and expansion of tariff quotas. In these ways we can achieve our goal of creating real additional new trade in dairy products.”

Both Mr Castaneda and Mr Cappellini are very concerned at the slow progress in agriculture negotiations in Geneva and the short time available before the April 30 deadline for reaching agreement on the modalities for reforming trade in agriculture.

“We cannot make the reforms alone.” said Mr. Castaneda. “We need leadership in other developing and developed countries to progress both agriculture and non agriculture issues if the negotiations are to be successful.”

“We are delighted to have common ground with our US colleagues on these key broad aspects of export subsidies and market access,” added Mr Cappellini.

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