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Sutton To Visit United States, Europe

Press Release

13 June 2000


Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton is to become the first minister from the Labour-Alliance coalition government to visit Washington DC.

Mr Sutton is to leave New Zealand on June 21 to visit Washington DC, Paris, Geneva, and London, before returning home on July 4.

While in the United States, Mr Sutton is to meet United States Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky. As well as discussing international trade policy following the latest Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation trade ministers meeting, the two are likely to discuss the outlook for a new World Trade Organisation round, New Zealand's regional trade initiatives, as well as bilateral trade issues.

He will make a variety of other contacts with key trade agencies, industry groups, and political leaders in Congress, and will give a keynote address on New Zealand's trade policy.

In Paris, Mr Sutton will attend the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development trade ministers' meeting, which brings together ministers from throughout the developed world. He is expected to meet European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy as part of that meeting.

Mr Sutton also intends to meet French counterparts in trade and agriculture, Francois Huwart and Jean Glavany, and to visit New Zealand companies doing business in France.

In Geneva, Mr Sutton will meet World Trade Organisation director-general Mike Moore and his deputies. As well, he plans to meet International Labour Organisation director-general Juan Somavia to discuss trade and labour issues.

While in London, Mr Sutton will meet his British agriculture counterpart, Nick Brown.

Mr Sutton said his trip would mean he was in both Washington DC and Geneva at crucial times - to assess the attitudes towards international trade issues generally and trade with New Zealand specifically in the leadup to the change in United States administration at the end of this year and the special negotiating session on agriculture in Geneva.

"There is a chance I will get to have good discussions with my American counterpart, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, who will be in Geneva for the negotiations. This would be useful as the United States is a key market for our agricultural and horticultural produce."


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