Key calls for end to ag subsidies

Prime Minister John Key used his opening speech to the APEC forum in Vladivostok to call for an end to agricultural subsidies:

. . . TPP would not be a substitute for World Trade Organisation trade talks, he said. The reality was less-developed countries often weren’t included in trade negotiations like TPP, he said.

And while agreements like TPP dealt with barriers to trade and investment, they did not get to the heart of subsidies.

Key said World Trade Organisation negotiations were the key to tackling high domestic subsidies in many economies’ agricultural sectors. He noted the New Zealand experience through the 1980s and 90s following the removal of subsidies there.

“While there is some pain…farmers responded very quickly to the signals – cut costs, increased productivity,” Key said.

“This level of subsidisation is no longer affordable nor sustainable,” he said.

“Now is the time for leaders around the world to be bold,” Key said, calling on them to eradicate subsidies, and start down the road of deficit reduction. . .

The mid to late 80s were very tough years for farming here. But I don’t know a single farmer who would go back to subsidies and farmers we met in England and Europe in June were looking forward to the end of subsidies there too.

They said they’d rather be answerable to markets than at the whim of politicians and bureaucrats.

Agricultural subsidies distort supply and demand, add to costs for taxpayers and consumers and promote inefficiency.

Getting rid of subsidies will open up trading opportunities to the benefit of producers and consumers.

2 Responses to Key calls for end to ag subsidies

  1. Captain Fantastic says:

    Of course the problem here in NZ is that while farmers have been cast adrift and told to shape up and get efficient, we are still lumbered with a hopelessly inefficient internal economy. Local Government out of control, high costs, low efficiency, RMA, galloping governmental debt. It just goes on & on. (Government debt, four years ago, $10 billion, today $50 billion and expected to reach $70 billions in 2014. No explanations how this is to be addressed/acheived has ever been announced to the punters except that Key says that producers will up exports.) And of course we are all being ground down with hyper regulation growth. Take the Nait debacle. Of what use is that narcing monstrosity ever going to be? Apart from consuming more time for already busy farmers. Unpaid of course. New Zealand is turning into quite a nice little South Pacific fascist “paradise”. Thanks National.


  2. Colin McIntyre says:

    Well said Captain Fantastic.National. pander to all the minority groups including Maori.
    At the Annual meeting of Federated Farmers ( Southland ) David Carter showed he had no grasp of several issues including Climate Change and the Emissions Trading Scheme which most of us know is based on Extortion, Theft and Swindle.


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