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European farm subsidy reductions welcome: Fischer

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Tim Fischer mr Federal Member for Farrer

Leader of the National Party of Australia

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources



The European Community's latest offer of cuts in prices for farm produce will be welcomed by Australian Farmers but it's not enough and it won't be happening quickly.

This was said by Federal Leader of the National Party Tim Fischer in reacting to the Commission of the European Communities adoption this week of proposals for the future of the Common Agricultural Policy.

The EC is proposing to cut prices for cereals by 35%, Milk 10%, Butter 15%, skim milk powder by 5% and Beef by 15%. They are to be introduced from 1993 and will be fully operational by 1996.

Mr Fischer said at last the EC is beginning to move in the right direction pushed by the weight of argument from free trading Nations such as Australia.

"It is a significant step but not nearly enough and certainly not soon enough," Mr Fischer said.

"What must happen now is for the United States to immediately recognise this initiative and take reciprocal action to wind back the US's Export Enhancement program," Mr Fischer said.

"After all the US maintains that the EEP is only in place to

target the EC and make the Community change its export subsidies.

"The fact that Australia's efficient fanners have been severely hurt by both the EC and the US seems to be lost in this war

between the two giants," Mr Fischer said.

"Never the less the latest developments with the EC prove that by staying the course, we, along with other similarly minded trading Nations in the Cairns group can be an influence for change.

"The United States now has no excuse but to cut back EEP and

prove that they are genuine about their reasons and intentions.

Mr Fischer said Australian Farmers will not allow any going back from what is a promising step to achieve sanity and fairness in world trade.

ENDS 12/7/91

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