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Lamb tariff removal process continues


Lamb tariff removal process continues

A meeting between New Zealand, Australia, and the United States on the World Trade Organisation's lamb tariff ruling was continuing tonight, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

He said that there would still be time after that to formally notify the WTO secretariat of any decision on whether to seek arbitration on the issue.

Mr Sutton said New Zealand was well aware that the ninety day period for determining how long the US would have to implement the ruling would normally expire on 14 August.

"Of course, we will be taking the appropriate steps by close of play in Geneva on 14 August to protect our legal rights. However, our primary aim remains the timely removal of the safeguard measure."

Mr Sutton said that he was encouraged by current United States efforts to negotiate the removal of the safeguard measure with their domestic lamb industry, and that this offered the best prospects for the early removal of the measure. Mr Sutton said he expected substantial progress within a month.

"If these efforts fail, we may then be forced to look at further legal steps. However, we continue to believe that there are good prospects that it will not come to that."

"The Government has been in contact with the meat industry and they share the goal of a quick removal of the safeguard. They endorse the approach the Government is taking."


ENDS

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