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Lamb Tariffs In US Must Go

The New Zealand Government must push for the removal of US lamb quotas as soon as possible, National's spokesperson on International Trade John Luxton said today.

"I am very concerned that the US Government looks likely to ignore for as long as possible the recent WTO ruling that the American quota violates international trade rules.

"The WTO lamb decision gives President Bush an opportunity to show that he really supports free trade in agricultural products.

"With a lot of rhetoric coming from the US Trade Representative's office about intending to implement the WTO recommendation to abandon the two-year-old import quota, they now seem to be stalling.

"The US Administration risks losing credibility if it delays taking the actions decided by the WTO ruling about the illegal quotas on lamb from New Zealand and Australia.

"The Bush Administration increasingly looks to be following the Clinton line of pursuing free trade only if it assist US consumers. Even worse is the US Government's intention to suggest that its tariff support to US sheep farmers will be replaced by a new Government support programme", said Mr Luxton.


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