John Armstrong

John Armstrong is the Herald's chief political commentator

NZ calls on nations to lower subsidies

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key addresses the APEC CEO summit. Photo / Supplied
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key addresses the APEC CEO summit. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand is calling on the United States, Japan and European Union countries to be bold and use the recessionary pressures on their budgets to justify cuts in trade-distorting subsidies paid to their farmers.

Speaking at the Apec CEO summit - a forum which connects business leaders with the wider Apec agenda - Prime Minister John Key said the levels of current subsidies were unaffordable and unsustainable.

Mr Key's remarks repeated New Zealand's longstanding concerns that while some countries make much of signing free trade agreements, they still quietly continue to subsidise their inefficient industries.

Nearly 1000 business leaders are registered as attending the summit. However, only about 300 showed up for the first session which saw Mr Key as part of a panel discussion on economic integration.

- NZ Herald

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