World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Vaile Responds Cautiously to Bush's Pledge

Vaile Responds Cautiously to Bush's Pledge

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Mark Vaile has responded positively but with caution to US President George W Bush's pledge, at the UN General Assembly, to scrap all tariff barriers and subsidies if other countries do the same.

Mr Vaile said, "The key now will be to turn President Bush's ambitious remarks into reality. The time has come for both the US and the European Union in particular to demonstrate, in concrete terms, how they will free up their agricultural markets.

"President Bush's strong statement should help to reinvigorate the Doha round of world trade negotiations. Leadership from the US and EU on agriculture is crucial if we are to bring these difficult negotiations to a successful conclusion.

"What we do in this Round will shape the multilateral trade environment for the next 25 years.

"A major beneficiary of freer trade in agriculture would be developing countries, a point which President Bush also makes.

"For decades, developing countries have been denied the chance to trade their way out for poverty by the protectionist agricultural policies of certain developed countries.

"The World Bank estimates that a level playing field on trade would lift 140 million people out of poverty."

Australia will continue to push for an ambitious result - one which achieves freer markets in agriculture, industrial products and services.

"Improved market access, reductions in trade distorting domestic support and the elimination of export subsidies are also essential outcomes for Australia," Mr Vaile said.

Australian companies would reap great benefits from this, especially our highly efficient agricultural exporters, who have to sell their products into the most heavily protected sector of the world economy.

"Australia's farmers also deserve the right to compete on a level field on the global stage. Thirty three per cent of farm income in the EU comes from Government support, in the US it is 18 per cent. Government support in the EU and US is $180 billion. Australia provides just $1.1 billion (4%) to its farmers.

The next major step in the negotiations will be the meeting of all World Trade Organisation Ministers in Hong Kong in December. Mr Vaile will lead the Australian delegation at that meeting.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>