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Canada Dairy Decision Disappoints

6 September 2001

“I am disappointed that Canada has chosen to appeal the WTO Panel’s decision”, said Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton today, speaking from Punta Del Este, Uruguay, where he is attending the Cairns Group of Meeting of Agriculture Ministers.

Mr Sutton was reacting to Canada’s announcement that it would contest the decision of a WTO compliance panel which found in July this year that substitute dairy export schemes, devised by Canada to replace a scheme which had already been ruled illegal by the WTO, were also in breach of Canada’s international obligations.

“Canada’s schemes have been found to have been in breach of its international obligations on three occasions so far by the WTO. We had therefore hoped that Canada would do the right thing and bring its laws into conformity with WTO rules. But I am confident that the Appellate Body will also find against Canada.”

Mr Sutton noted that the illegal export subsidies provided by Canada’s replacement schemes cost New Zealand about $80 million a year.

Given the seriousness of the issue, Mr Sutton said, New Zealand was determined to take all steps available to it under the WTO dispute settlement system to ensure that Canada, and other countries which might have wished to adopt similar kinds of export subsidies, observe their WTO commitments.

Ends

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