[30 November/Radio NZ]

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand was joined with other peak dairy organisations across the world to launched an unprecedented campaign to try and save the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The move is in response to steps taken by the Trump administration to block the appointment of new judges to the WTO’s appeals process. Trade Minister David Parker earlier warned that the block on judicial appointments could bring a vital part of the WTO’s work to a halt, because not enough judges would be available to provide a quorum to hear international disputes. The global dairy organisations wanted issue raised at  up the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires. DCANZ chairperson, Malcolm Bailey, said the groups that signed the letter normally compete against each other, but shared a common view that a rules-based trading system worked best. Besides calling for reform of the dispute settlement system, the organisation also sought improved transparency and timeliness of subsidy notifications, clarified procedures for administering tariff quotas, and additional measures to address trade-distorting practices.  Signing organisations also included European, US, Australian and South America dairy organisations.