Stand Firm Mr Parker On EU Free Trade
Federated Farmers supports efforts by our Trade Minister David Parker to take the European Union to task over its handling of early negotiations around a free trade agreement.
"Perhaps through misunderstanding rather than a determined leak of information, we now know the EU made us an excruciatingly low market access offer," Feds president Katie Milne says.
"It was so insultingly low, I thought they’d made a mistake and put the decimal point in the wrong place.
"Thanks to this ‘leak’, we are now aware the EU intend to continue to prevent Kiwi farmers from fairly competing in the EU market, while at the same time seeking to impose absurd obligations, such as not allowing New Zealand farmers to call feta cheese by its generic name ‘feta’."
The EU is attempting to use these so-called ‘geographical indications’ to monopolise the use of widespread generic names by international competitors such as New Zealand
"It’s disappointing to see the EU’s trade negotiators ignore the long-shared relationship between the EU and New Zealand. It is in the interest of both the EU and New Zealand to work together to reinforce the rules-based international trading system, and this laughable offer does nothing to foster goodwill between the two.
"David Parker needs to stand firm and continue to express his disappointment. It’s good to know he has our backs on this," Katie says.