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Aussie apple ban – a final warning shot fired!

Aussie apple ban – a final warning shot fired!

It must be viewed as a final warning shot across their bow said Trade Liberalisation Network Executive Director, Suse Reynolds.

She was responding to the Government’s announcement Australia’s ban on New Zealand apple imports had been placed on the WTO’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee agenda.

“This issue has been around for literally decades and every decade the grounds for the ban have weakened. Today none exist,” said Reynolds.

“The ban is no more than a reflection of the embarrassing political clout Australian apple growers wield.

“It is a slight on the integrity of the CER Agreement and a blot on Australia’s otherwise impeccable WTO credentials.“

Reynolds noted while this was the first time New Zealand had raised an issue with Australia in the WTO, putting the matter on the SPS Committee’s agenda was not the most serious step the Government could take.

“This step is a final warning shot. The real crunch would come if the New Zealand Government were to initiate the WTO’s formal dispute resolution process.

“Australia still has time to remedy the situation which it is surely compelled to do given the WTO’s decision in the US/Japan case. Australia may however still prefer this route as it is a way of deflecting responsibility for any political fallout from a powerful domestically based lobby group,” Reynolds concluded.

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