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Government Announces Tariff Details

The Acting Minister of Commerce Trevor Mallard has today announced the Government's decisions on general tariff levels.

"Tariffs will be frozen at current levels until at least 1 July 2005," he said.

"The July reductions planned by the previous Government will not go ahead and we will be moving urgently to repeal the Tariff (Zero Duty) Amendment Act 1998, which they implemented to phase out all tariffs by 1 July 2006.

"The coalition government has made it clear that New Zealand will no longer be removing tariffs on a strictly unilateral basis.

“We do not see any point in New Zealand leading the world in this way. We will consider tariff changes where there are clear benefits to New Zealand.

"We will be continuing the programme of tariff removal for beer and paper, paper products and printed material which was agreed as part of the GATT Uruguay Round of trade negotiations.

"In this case our major trading partners have also agreed to removal on the same time scale, and we are already benefiting from that programme.

"As has already been announced, we are continuing negotiations with Singapore on a possible closer economic partnership. We will be undertaking an extensive process of consultation on this.”

"This new policy direction is in line with our manifesto promises and is an important part of our intention to assist industry development and employment in New Zealand," he said.


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