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New Zealand Joins WTO Action On Korean Beef


MEDIA STATEMENT

29 July 1999

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


New Zealand Joins WTO Action On Korean Beef Market Restrictions


New Zealand will be represented as a third party at World Trade Organisation dispute settlement action with Korea regarding the treatment of imported beef, Trade Minister Lockwood Smith announced today.

"The United States and Australia have both sought dispute settlement with Korea regarding issues in the beef market," Dr Smith said.

"New Zealand was represented at the consultations phase of the process which were initiated in February 1999, and we will continue to be present, as a third party, as it moves to a formal panel.

The US and Australian complaints relate to the maintenance of separate retail channels for imported beef and various issues related to the operation of current import arrangements.

"New Zealand has a long-standing interest in the liberalisation of the Korean market, which was the subject of agreements between Korea, the US, Australia and New Zealand in the early 1990s," the Minister said.

"Our expectation is that the liberalisation of the market agreed for 2001 will be implemented in a clean fashion.

"New Zealand’s beef exports to Korea have been adversely affected by the Asian economic and financial crisis. But we expect Korea to become a major market for New Zealand beef in the future as its economy recovers and the beef market is fully liberalised," Dr Smith concluded.

ENDS

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