by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2008
page 16 C aTTL e COUNCIL OF a USTR a LI a Y ea RBOOK 2008 2008 Trade Report For an industry that exports two-thirds of its production ($120 million worth of beef and beef products exported each and every week), delivering real outcomes for beef producers is central to our business. Industry’s work in the area of trade policy continues to focus on lobbying the australian government and Opposition to ensure that agricultural priorities are at the top of their trade policy agenda. Furthermore, lobbying foreign governments on the absolute need and reasons for reform are a critically important part of this process. and given the need to deploy a multi-pronged approach to this reform agenda, international coalitions, both at a government and non government level, have been established. WTO DOHa ROUND The World Trade Organisation (WTO) provides a multilateral forum where Members can discuss trade issues, develop rules to govern international trade and settle trade disputes. The WTO operates via a comprehensive set of agreements that establish disciplines on trade. These agreements cover issues such as market access, technical barriers to trade, export subsidies, domestic support measures, and Sanitary and phytosanitary (SpS) issues. Negotiations such as the WTO Doha Round (underway since 2001), continue to offer prospects for beef trade reform, despite the ongoing delays with the current Round in achieving a convergence of positions amongst members. These negotiations intensified in late 2007 and early 2008 as ministers have renewed their efforts to reach agreement on agriculture and non agricultural market access. australia’s new trade minister, the Hon. Simon Crean Mp, has also increased ministerial engagement with the Cairns group. Industry’s objectives, on behalf of all australian farmers, remain as they were when the talks commenced: • Reaching an agreement that will deliver substantial improvements in market access by substantially cutting tariffs, with the highest tariffs being cut more deeply, and by expanding tariff rate quotas to ensure commercially meaningful gains in market access; • Achieving the early elimination of all forms of export subsidies on all products by 31 December 2013 (agreed at the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference) with workable disciplines to ensure that food aid, government export credits do not circumvent elimination; and • Achieving real cuts to current expenditure on trade- distorting production subsidies (not merely changes to accounting procedures). The Doha negotiations are a trade priority for the australian beef industry and Cattle Council’s objective is to actively participate, in conjunction with other industry stakeholders and in association with the australian government, in order to ensure the best possible benefits are delivered for the beef sector. Research indicates that market access improvements, particularly into North asia and the european Union, are critical for the future profitability of the australian beef export industry. Importantly, australia’s NFF continues to work hard with the Cairns group Farm Leader membership to equip our colleagues to lobby their own governments and non government sectors on the reasons and need for reform. Unfortunately, trade reform is often not a quick fix, especially when 151 countries are involved in the negotiations as is the case with the WTO process. Nevertheless, a multilateral outcome with the possibility of removing roadblocks to trade in numerous export destinations is one worth vigorously pursuing. David Inall, Executive Director, Cattle Council of Australia Cattle Council and the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) remain focussed on achieving significant new export opportunities in global markets through agricultural trade reform in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as well as regional and bilateral trade negotiations. In particular, there are a number of key, beef-related bilateral trade issues that will receive special attention in 2008.