INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tariffs Take Biggest Slice Of Dairy Profits

Published: Fri 10 Sep 1999 05:01 PM
Tariffs Take Biggest Slice Of Dairy Farmers' Possible Profits
Every New Zealand dairy farmer paid more in tariffs last year than the net income he or she earned, Dairy Farmers of New Zealand Chairman Charlie Pedersen noted today.
The New Zealand dairy industry directly paid $700m in tariffs last year, approximately $48,000 per farmer.
Tariffs also affect the pricing of dairy products.
"The situation is nonsensical. Consumers pay vastly more for our high quality dairy produce than they need to."
"These tariff-protected markets, such as the European Union and United States, are where the vast majority of our dairy products go," said Mr Pedersen. "We are forced to keep our prices low so that we can compete in the protected markets."
"The only winners are the governments who collect the tariff revenue."
"In addition, the long-term sustainability of the importing nation's own dairy farms is reduced as they are protected from international competition, and are tempted to develop expensive and non-sustainable production systems, unlike our grass-fed New Zealand dairy cows."
"Tariffs encourage unproductive and destructive use of a nation's resources."
"The sooner that trade tariffs are lowered and each nation can freely trade its products, the sooner that the world's consumers and producers will be better off."
ENDS

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