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Truss welcomes Cairns Group trade proposal.



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HON WARREN TRUSS MP MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY

AFFA02/231WT 9 September 2002

Truss welcomes Cairns Group trade proposal

The new market access proposal tabled by the Cairns Group should add momentum to the Doha round of agriculture negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Federal Agriculture Minister Warren Truss said today.

Mr Truss said the proposal would increase the pressure on other countries, including the EU and Japan, to engage in meaningful negotiations.

Mr Truss said if implemented, the Cairns Group proposal would deliver substantial new market access opportunities for Australian farmers.

“I had the opportunity to discuss with US Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman in Japan recently the detailed agricultural trade reform proposal put forward by the Bush Administration,” Mr Truss said.

“I am pleased that Cairns Group members have agreed to join the US in its ambitious proposal for developed countries whereby no tariff would be higher than 25 per cent after five years,” Mr Truss said.

“However, I am especially pleased that the Cairns Group proposal goes much further than that of the US in a number of key areas such as quota barriers. Market access is a particularly important area of the negotiations for Australian farmers who export over 60 per cent of their production.”

The Cairns Group proposal addresses three key areas of concern on market access to farmers:

●tariffs;

●tariff rate quotas; and

●tariff quota administration.

“Tariff quotas, such as the US beef quota, would be expanded up to five-fold under the Cairns Group proposal to provide improved export opportunities for Australian farmers,” Mr Truss said.

“Australian exporters of sugar and dairy products often face tight access restrictions and would also be significant beneficiaries,” Mr Truss said.

Mr Truss said that the improved rules for tariff quota administration put forward by the Cairns Group would help ensure access opportunities were commercially realisable.

The new proposals on market access reaffirm the Cairns Group’s leading role in efforts to reform global trade rules for agriculture.

“With the Cairns Group and US tabling constructive negotiating proposals, the pressure is now on the EU and Japan to follow suit”, the Minister said.

Further media inquiries: Mr Truss's office, Tim Langmead (02) 6277 7520 or 0418 221 433

The Hon Warren Truss MP Media Office | Media Releases | Speeches

Last updated 10 September 2002

URL: http://www.affa.gov.au/ministers/truss/releases/02/02231wt.html Commonwealth of Australia 2002