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National welcomes removal of lamb tariffs

John Luxton National International Trade Spokesperson

1 September 2001

National welcomes removal of lamb tariffs - but not before time

The removal of the United States penalty tariff on New Zealand lamb imports is welcomed by National's Trade spokesperson, John Luxton.

"This lifting, on 15 November, is well overdue and goes beyond the original deadline set by the WTO for the removal of this illegal tariff," said Mr Luxton.

"While the Clinton administration imposed this penalty tariff more than two years ago for an initial period of three years, it has taken two years to work through the process initiated by the former National Government to have this decision overturned by the WTO.

"Although slow, it has reinforced the need for New Zealand to strongly support the WTO to be able to act independently when countries like the United States breach accepted international trade rules.

"The New Zealand sheep farmer and rural communities are the real beneficiaries of this tariff removal.

"This case reinforces for the United States that if it believes in freer trade access, it also has to play by the rules of fair trade.

"The tariffs should have been lifted immediately the WTO declared them illegal earlier this year. But the New Zealand Government has let the issue drag on far too long," Mr Luxton said.

Ends


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