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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2009
CA TTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA YEARBOOK 2009 Trade Report Securing improvements in market access for Australian red meat and livestock can be a slow moving affair. It can often take years of negotiation to reach agreement among existing or new trading partners. T he current World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks are a prime example with stop-start discussions yet to conclude among the 153 member countries. On the free trade agreement (FTA) front, the quest to remove trade impediments can also be somewhat long-winded. However, the early part of 2009 has delivered numerous positive outcomes for the beef industry. While it may seem clichéd, the truth is that the Australian beef industry truly relies on trading in export markets for it's survival. Trade itself is a word that conjures all kinds of definitions and interpretations. Australia’s beef industry is a powerhouse of commerce and energy with meat and livestock exporters heavily focused on both growing existing markets as well as nurturing emerging markets. Trade is a text book example of the need for industry and government collaboration. On one hand, commercial enterprises seek out markets and customers, form relationships and build trust. In parallel, governments negotiate various trade protocols, usually in terms of tariffs as well sanitary and phytosanitary arrangements. multilateral reform Cattle Council and the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) remain determined to achieve significant new export market opportunities and reduce distortions in global markets through agricultural trade reform in the WTO as well as regional and bilateral trade negotiations. For an industry that exports two-thirds of its production to more than 100 countries worldwide, it is clearly in our interest to remain vigilant. Cattle Council and the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) remain determined to achieve significant new export market opportunities… Multilateral trade reform through the WTO remains a high priority. Reaching an agreement that delivers substantial improvements in market access by cutting tariffs and eliminating all forms of export subsidies is a key objective of Cattle Council and the NFF. However, WTO negotiations have been protracted in recent times. This current round, launched in November 2001 in Doha, has a focus on developing countries given the majority of WTO members have developing country status. Furthermore, it is widely recognised that international trade can play a major role in the promotion of economic development and the alleviation of poverty. Importantly, it is industry’s role to ensure that the Australian Government is well briefed on beef priorities. Discussions, both formal and informal, occur around the world on a daily basis and it is critically important that our trade officials continue to push hard on key beef issues. 18 1117_CCA Yearbook 2009.indd 18 5/5/09 7:59:50 PM