McClay says WTO agreement significant for NZ

  • Todd McClay

Trade Minister Todd McClay welcomes agreement of the WTO Nairobi package reached at the 10th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, and says the elimination of export subsidies is significant for New Zealand agriculture exporters.

“The most important outcome for New Zealand is the agreement to eliminate the ability of WTO members to subsidise their agricultural exports.  It’s been illegal to subsidise the exports of industrial goods for more than half a century.  It’s a major achievement to at last extend that principle to agriculture.

“This has been a primary goal for successive New Zealand Governments for decades.  This outcome directly benefits New Zealand agricultural exporters who have to compete in some markets with subsidised goods,” Mr McClay says.

“The Nairobi outcome is a shot in the arm for the WTO, at a time when many WTO members are focusing on big regional deals like TPP or other international negotiations on specific topics, such as environmental goods or IT products.

“Failure at Nairobi would have been nothing short of disastrous for the international trading system.

“This was also a very important meeting for Africa, and for least developed countries, which will benefit from new rules that will improve their ability to engage in international trade.

“This package was not comprehensive, and leaves some important issues to be worked on further.

“There continue to be a range of views about the future of the Doha Development Round, but there is a strong commitment on the part of all WTO members to advance negotiations on the remaining Doha issues, including agriculture.

“Discussions will also take place on how other issues can be brought to the table,” says Mr McClay.