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WTO trade rules important for New Zealand

WTO trade rules important for New Zealand

Trade Negotiations and Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton today launched "Balance in Trade", a new publication about the World Trade Organisation rules on plant and animal health measures and why they are important to New Zealand.

Mr Sutton said all New Zealanders had a vital interest in the balance which the WTO's Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures has brought to the trade rules in this area.

"Not only does New Zealand depend on maintaining access to overseas markets for its primary product exports, but New Zealanders also have a close interest in being able to protect this country legitimately through our biosecurity regime.

"Fair, consistent, science-based and transparent rules for international trade are therefore vital for us. The SPS agreement is a key instrument in maintaining that balance for New Zealand."

Written by Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry and the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry officials, "Balance in Trade" aims to increase understanding of the SPS Agreement, which underpins New Zealand's do mestic quarantine processes and the protection of New Zealand's biodiversity.

"Balance in Trade" describes the key elements of the SPS agreement as well as its application to New Zealand and the management of the risks that imported goods can pose to the safety of people, animals and plants in New Zealand.

Copies of "Balance in Trade" will be available on the websites of both the MFAT ( http://www.mfat.govt.nz/foreign/tnd/wtonz/sps) and MAF.

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