Farmscape for December 20, 2005 (Episode 2002)
The Canadian Pork Council is hopeful a last minute agreement at the just concluded sixth ministerial conference of the world trade organization has laid enough groundwork to achieve a new world trade agreement by the end of 2007.
Following six days of intensive negotiations ministers from member nations of the WTO approved a declaration which many believe has put efforts aimed at achieving a new world trade agreement by the end of 2007 back on track.
The 44 page document sets the stage for continued negotiations aimed at achieving at full modalities” in agriculture and non-agricultural market access by April 30, 2006.
Canadian Pork Council Executive Director Martin Rice says, while the declaration still contains limited detail, there is definitely a direction here.
Clip-Martin Rice -Canadian Pork Council
They haven't locked in the numbers yet, which perhaps some of us would have hoped, but we do see an end date for the elimination of export subsidies.
It was moved to 2013.
At one point is was 2010.
I guess what is of greater importance to the hog and pork industries will be the results of the discussions on domestic support and market access improvements.
We see all of the objectives we have for the WTO still being in play.
We'll be looking at that four month period of 2006, January to April, as being the process that we'll have to keep a very close watch on and involvement with to ensure that the results that we've been seeking of aggressive tariff reduction and of real cuts in trade distorting domestic support and improvements in the rules such as in anti-dumping being areas that do get the final results that we're looking for.
Rice believes the Hong Kong session has laid a good foundation from which to head into the insensitive final negotiations.
He is confident, if the political will is there, that three to four month period will provide enough time to get it done.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council