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Groser to adjudicate WTO dispute

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

18 July 2006

Groser to adjudicate WTO dispute

National Party MP Tim Groser has been appointed by the Acting Director-General of the World Trade Organisation to chair the panel charged with resolving a long-running civil aviation subsidies dispute.

This dispute relates to the conditions of competition between Boeing and Airbus in the commercial market for large civil aviation aircraft. It has been described by experts as perhaps the biggest dispute in GATT/WTO history, both in terms of substance and political and economic consequences.

Before entering Parliament, Mr Groser served as New Zealand’s Ambassador to the WTO, chairing both the Rules Negotiating Group and the Agriculture Negotiating Group.

National Party Leader Don Brash says it is a tribute both to Mr Groser and to New Zealand’s standing as an independent contributor to the international trading system that he has been chosen for this important task.

“As a small country, we are critically dependent on the rule of international law applying to resolving trade disputes. This case will be of great significance in that regard, particularly when major difficulties over bringing the Doha Round to a successful conclusion indicate that the WTO system is currently under great pressure.”

It is expected that Mr Groser's chairing of the panel will consist of three trips to Geneva over 18 months, with each trip likely to last for about one week.

ENDS

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