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Blair Advocates Time to End World Trade Distortion

27 March 2006

Comments made today by British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair suggesting it is time for the world to deliver on trade reform and for Europe to end its agricultural protection has been applauded by National Farmers’ Federation President, Mr Peter Corish.

“As one of the leading members of the European Union, it is very heartening for Australian farmers to hear that Mr Blair agrees with our position on World Trade Reform,” Mr Corish said.

In his speech to a joint sitting of the Australian Parliament today, Prime Minister Blair commented,

“Europe’s agricultural protection is a policy born of another age and it is time to end it.”

“But change in Europe alone is not the answer. America must open up; Japan, too.
In non-agricultural market access, we look to leadership from Brazil and India. And
we must agree a development package for the poorest that includes 100 per cent
market access and aid for trade. This is a cause of prosperity, because we all benefit
from open markets; of justice, because the poorest nations need to be able to stand
on their own two feet and trade in our markets; and of self-interest…”

“Prime Minister Blair today confirmed the winds of change are blowing in Europe. He is showing leadership in this crucial area, other European leaders need to follow his example,” Mr Corish added.

As Mr Blair so rightly articulated…

“If we cannot put a decent trade round in place when it is so plain that our long­term
national interests and the wider interests of the world demand it, this will be a failure
with multiple consequences, all of them adverse.”

Media Enquiries: Emma Keogh on (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250.

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