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Stay True to Doha

The Global Dairy Alliance (www.globaldairyalliance.org), an association of the national dairy sectors of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand and Uruguay urgently calls on members of the World Trade Organization to agree on fundamental reform of the world dairy market at Cancun.

The Alliance notes that the texts put forward at this stage all fall far short of the fundamental reform proposed at Doha and they are all much less ambitious than the Cairns Group proposals supported by the Alliance.

The global dairy market is among those food markets most restricted by high barriers to market access and most damaged by government subsidies. The Doha Development Agenda negotiations offer an exceptional opportunity for governments to open up world dairy markets and eliminate export subsidies for the benefit of consumers and producers everywhere. The prize for doing so is that world dairy trade -- valued at about $US8 billion in 2000 -- could grow by almost 40 per cent and the value of production in developing countries by at least the same proportion.

Trade Ministers at the WTO meeting in Cancun must not shirk this responsibility or settle for half-measures. After decades of burdensome regulation, it is time for a determined attack on the massive tariff barriers still surrounding dairy markets and on the dumping of subsidized surpluses in world markets.

Governments must reach an ambitious agreement on rules that will bring about progressive and predictable change. Specifically we seek:

* elimination of export subsidies,

* substantial improvement in market access, and * substantial reduction in domestic support.

These are consistent with the Doha mandate.

New WTO rules for global market liberalization must be capable of implementation by all WTO Members within an appropriate period, but it should take account of the needs of developing countries.

No agreement without agriculture. No agriculture agreement without dairy.




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