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Gains for beef and wool from trade liberalisation worth billions for liberalisation of world agricultural trade

30 March 1998

The Cairns Group farm leaders, currently visiting rural New South Wales, have been told that the gains from full liberalisation of world trade would be worth billions of dollars to the beef and wool industries.

Addressing the leaders in Armidale last night, the President of the Cattle Council of Australia, John Wyld, said the increase in the world beef trade following full liberalisation would be worth $5 billion over the next 15 years.

Mr Wyld told the 15 leaders that the beef industry's target was for a 50 per cent reduction in import barriers in the European Union, and the elimination of the Japanese beef tariff.

In Armidale this morning, the President of the Wool Council of Australia, Rod Thirkell-Johnston, said removing trade barriers in one or two important markets would have flow-on benefits worth several hundred million dollars.

Mr Thirkell-Johnston said a study by ABARE had shown that the removal of barriers in the US market alone would benefit woolgrowers by up to $157 million - in the first year of introduction - an average $3000 per woolgrower.

The Chairman of Cotton Australia, Peter Corish, who joined the group in Gunnedah, said 95 per cent of Australia cotton was exported, with 38 per cent alone going to Indonesia.

Mr Corish said the aims and actions of the Cairns Group had the cotton industry's support.

He said the industry was completely de-regulated and received no assistance from government, which had facilitated the industry's spectacular growth, with production of 3 million bales expected in 1997/98.

The farm leaders from the Cairns Group, representing over 500 million people, are from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Fiji, South Africa, the Philippines, New Zealand and Canada.

They have joined NFF President Donald McGauchie, Senior Vice-President John Watson, Vice President Ian Donges and the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, John Anderson, for a tour of major commodity enterprises, in a week of events culminating in a parallel meeting with the Cairns Group Trade and Agriculture Ministers in Sydney on Thursday and Friday.

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31/3/1998 U.S. farm leader echoes Cairns Group concerns for liberalisation of world agricultural trade

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29/3/1998 Cairns Group Farm Leaders visit dairy, cane and beef enterprises for liberalisation of world agricultural trade