Cairns Group plans free trade lobby

26 August 1999

Cairns Group plans free trade lobby

THE Cairns Group of agricultural exporters is meeting in Buenos Aires this week.

Australian trade minister Mark Vaile said he hoped to be sending a clear message to the USA, Japan and Europe that trade in agriculture must be on an equal footing.

The 21-member grouping is expected to reiterate its enthusiasm for free trade at the launch of a new round of World Trade Organisation talks in November.

Mr Vaile said he expected the new round of negotiations to deliver substantial cuts in government support and protection.

He is expected to meet Dan Glickman, US secretary of agriculture, to discuss US quotas and tariffs on lamb imports.

A US$7.6 billion (£4.75bn) aid to US farmers under consideration is also causing concern.

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