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TLN Comment on EU Enlargement - Keep your wits!

TLN Comment on EU Enlargement - Keep your wits about you!

There will of course be a raft of new opportunities for New Zealand exporters as Europe expands from 15 to 25 members.

This is certainly welcome said TLN, Executive Director, Suse Reynolds. But she also sounded a note of caution.

"New Zealand exporters will need their wits about them. Not only are the new member states economically fragile, but in the areas where New Zealand has by far the greater comparative advantage these states are often the most exposed," said Reynolds.

"There will be a real temptation for Europe to use this as an excuse to retain its protectionist stance; overtly in the form of higher tariffs and quotas but also, less transparently, through the illegitimate use of non-tariff barriers.

"New Zealand traders and our Government must ensure that the "new" and "old" Europeans do not get away with this.

"The need for a strong and credible World Trade Organisation is also greater than ever. Every encouragement must be given to WTO members to make progress on the agricultural negotiations for a framework agreement," she concluded.

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