The latest Doha Round of trade negotiations have failed which deals a blow to New Zealand’s hopes for better access to overseas markets.
Charles Finny of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce said the deal on the table at the WTO wasn’t perfect but everyone would have been better off with it than without it.
“For New Zealand it offered the end of agricultural export subsidies, caps on domestic agricultural subsidies, and improved market access for agriculture, fisheries, forestry and manufactures. More work was needed on services but signs there were positive that some forward movement could be achieved also. It is therefore a tragedy that a small number of WTO members were trying to unpick elements of this package.”
The New Zealand International Business Forum also expressed its deep disappointment that the WTO meeting had failed to agree on a way forward for the Doha negotiations.
“Failure in Geneva is bad news for everyone” said NZIBF executive director Stephen Jacobi. “Bad for New Zealand because the opportunity to reduce tariffs and export subsidies once again eludes us.
“Bad for the developing world because they need improved access to developed country markets to promote growth and address poverty.
“And bad for the global economy that desperately needs the boost in confidence that conclusion of the Doha round would bring”, said Jacobi.
Everyone gains from free trade and the ones who lose the most from trade restrictions are those who can least afford it.