Wednesday 6 March 2002 / MVT13/2002
Developing Countries Need Trade Not Aid
Australia will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of a good outcome
on agriculture in the World Trade Organisation negotiations, Trade
Minister Mark Vaile said today.
Speaking at the annual ABARE Outlook Conference, Mr Vaile said world
agricultural markets are extremely distorted by subsidies and support
amounting to some $327 million per year. (Note: see
correction notice MVT15)
"Agricultural support and protection in rich countries does enormous
damage to the economies of developing countries, who would benefit
far more from open markets and fair competition than from relatively
low levels of aid," Mr Vaile said.
"The amount spent on agricultural subsidies and support by developed
countries is nearly eight time more than is spent on aid to developing
countries of the world.
"Put simply, rich countries provide farmers around USD1 billion each
day, compared to approximately USD43 billion in foreign aid to poor
countries per year.
At last year’s World Trade Organisation Ministerial meeting held
in Doha WTO members agreed to eliminate export subsidies provided
sending a clear political message on agricultural trade reform.
However, Mr Vaile criticised the tendency of some wealthy countries
to give special privileges to a small group of rich individuals.
"The massive support levels proposed in the United States Farm Bill
will hamper the US from taking the lead on agricultural reform at
the WTO agriculture negotiations.
"The US Farm Bill proposes to continue the transfer of 67 per cent
of the funds to 10 per cent of the producers, while the smallest and
poorest producers receive no support.
"I am also concerned about the efforts of the EU to increase protection
through its agenda on the environment and the use of 'geographical
indications', such as parmesan cheese and kalamata olives.
"Our colleagues in the WTO wonder why Australians are so passionate
about agricultural trade reform? We always have been, and always
will be until we get a fair go!
"Australia and the Cairns Group will work closely with other countries
with a strong interest in a fair trade in agriculture, which will
help our efficient, competitive farmers achieve the better market
access they deserve."
Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:02:31 EST