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FFNZ: Lamb 201 Issue Closed

14 November 2001

New Zealand Meat and Fibre Producers Chairman Murray Taggart has welcomed the United States Government's removal of import tariffs on New Zealand and Australian lamb today.

"The Lamb 201 issue has reinforced the importance of the World Trade Organisation and the framework it provides for international trade," said Mr Taggart.

In May 2001 the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Appellate Body upheld the decision made by the WTO expert panel that found that the United States had breached international trade rules by imposing tariff quotas on New Zealand and Australian lamb.

"This has been an important week for New Zealand agriculture. The successful launch of a new WTO Round in Qatar brings a commitment to substantial improvements in market access with a view to phasing out export subsidies.

"For a nation heavily dependant on agricultural exports, the benefits of the negotiating agenda agreed in Qatar will bring tangible benefits for New Zealand farmers. Better access will provide the opportunity for added value production in New Zealand and the certainty of rules gives farmers confidence to invest in their industry.

"The Minister of Agriculture, Hon Jim Sutton, and the New Zealand negotiating team are to be congratulated for a superb effort in dealing with some of the most sensitive issues in international trade policy," Mr Taggart concluded.

ENDS




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