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Minister Welcomes US Lifting Of Steel Tariffs

Minister Welcomes US Lifting Of Steel Tariffs


United States President George W Bush's lifting of steel tariffs is a very welcome outcome, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton, in Rome chairing the United Nations Food and Agiculture Organisation's biennial conference, said Mr Bush's decision today came in response to the successful challenge to the measures by New Zealand and seven other countries under the World Trade Organisation's dispute settlement system.

The WTO Appellate Body ruled on 10 November 2003 that the US safeguard tariffs were illegal, and the WTO is due to adopt the decision on 10 December.

Mr Sutton said the outcome was a victory for New Zealand and the rules-based system which the WTO represents.

"The United States is to be commended for moving swiftly to remove the measures. This is good for New Zealand and it's good for the WTO trading system.

"The dispute settlement system has already enabled New Zealand to protect its agricultural export interests by securing access to Europe for our butter, the removal of unjustified safeguard tariffs on our lamb exports to the United States, as well as successfully challenging unlawful Canadian export subsidies in the dairy sector. The successful result in the steel case now shows the benefits of the WTO dispute settlement system for New Zealand are not limited to the agricultural sector."

ENDS


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