Jun 23, 2008

Biofuel Bill In Breach Of WTO Rules

One of the signs of a Government in a state of desperation, is its willingness to breach international commitments (National did it on trout just before their last rout). The Hive team is still working through the revised emissions trading legislation and have one clear breach and several probable breaches of WTO commitments.

Today, a select committee reported back a watered down version of the Biofuels Bill. The Greens are making a lot of noise about a sustainability clause they claim they had inserted into the bill. The trouble is that WTO rules prohibit this type of clause. What would happen if the EU decided they did not like dairy products or meat based on pastoral agriculture as opposed to feedlots? Or opposition to plantation forestry? Do we really want to allow discrimination based on opposition to particular production and process methods? Great news for the trade lawyers but another headache for the Key Government, another mess to clean up.