Trade Minister Frustrated By Us Subsidy Roll-over

  • Lockwood Smith

Trade Minister Lockwood Smith says that he is frustrated by a United States decision to "roll-over" export subsidies for some dairy products.

The US has announced that it will "roll-over" unused subsidies under its Dairy Export Incentive Programme (DEIP) into the next financial year.

"New Zealand and the US, like other members of the Cairns Group, are strongly opposed to the use of export subsidies and will be seeking their elimination in the forthcoming WTO agriculture negotiations.

"Over the past month I have made strong representations, both written and in person during my recent visit to Washington, urging the US Administration to ensure that these subsidies were handled in a way that minimised the damage to the market.

"It's frustrating to see the US take a decision which effectively increases the use of export subsidies. Such a decision is inconsistent with the wider objective of putting trade in agriculture on an equal footing to trade in other goods, which would require the elimination of export subsidies.

"Today's decision is taken at a time when agricultural producers around the world are saddled with low commodity prices, and its frustrating to see a significant economy like the US follow a policy which is far from aligned with its stated commitments to foster open markets and undistorted trade," Dr Smith concluded.