8 Jun 2009

Australia pushes for end to dairy subsidies

3:16 pm on 8 June 2009

The Australian government is stepping up pressure on the United States over its decision to reintroduce dairy export subsidies.

Australia is one of 19 agriculture exporting nations meeting in Bali as part of the annual Cairns Group forum.

The ABC reports they will look to advance talks on a global free trade agreement that would outlaw the sort of export subsidies that the US and Europe have recently reintroduced.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk is due to attend the three-day meeting. WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy is also scheduled to attend.

Trade Minister Simon Crean told the ABC he was confident Mr Kirk will heed international calls to steer away from protectionism.

He also said the group has "to use this opportunity to develop the process going forward" and solve the outstanding issues.

The Cairns Group consists of Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, and Uruguay.