National Farmers' Federation

Continuing WTO Leadership from the US Welcome and Essential to Australian Farmers

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) President Peter Corish has just completed a four-day visit to the United States where he has met with a number of senior Bush Administration, Congressional and farm industry leaders.
“Very pleasingly at all levels the United States retains a strong and genuine commitment to achieving a highly-ambitious outcome from the Doha round of WTO negotiations – which is very much in line with the priorities and aspirations of Australian farmers,” Mr Corish said.
“The continuing leadership from the United States at all levels on issues like agricultural market access is particularly welcome.
“It is however clear from all meetings that like Australian farmers, the United States could not get a Doha (light or G20 minus) package that does not deliver meaningful improvements in agricultural market access into both developed and developing countries through its legislature.
“The world needs to realise that the stars are currently aligned in the United Stated at all levels to deliver on their October 2005 pledge to significantly cut domestic agricultural support but market access gains are essential to their ability to deliver.
“Without a meaningful deal on agricultural market access the United States will not, be able to deliver on domestic support. This would be a lost opportunity.
“All WTO members but particularly those in Europe and in developing countries need to understand this.
“Current equivocation from the European Union and others is not helpful and must end.
“We have been repeatedly told in Washington that a Doha (light) deal would not pass the Congress, and we firmly believe this.
“If we fail to get agreement on agricultural and non-agricultural modalities in the next couple of months the opportunity to achieve the significant global agricultural trade reform will close and the world’s farmers will be the big losers.
“We can not afford to miss this once in a generation opportunity.”

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