INDEPENDENT NEWS

Meat & Wool New Zealand welcomes P4 opportunity

Published: Thu 7 Feb 2008 10:08 AM
Media Release
5 February 2008
Meat & Wool New Zealand welcomes P4 opportunity
Meat & Wool New Zealand is heartened by today’s announcement from US Trade Representative Susan Schwab, that the US will begin a process to examine the possibility of a free trade negotiation with the “P4” countries that include New Zealand, Singapore, Chile and Brunei.
Meat & Wool New Zealand Chairman, Mike Petersen said farmer levies have been invested in a number of trade policy priorities including this important area.
“New Zealand’s meat trade to the US is the biggest category of exports by a significant margin. Since the Australian US Free Trade Agreement came into effect in January 2006, this agreement immediately put New Zealand exporters at a disadvantage against Australian beef, which no longer attracted an in-quota tariff.
“We have been working with Jim Bolger and the NZUS Council since its inception to promote a strong business relationship and eventually conclude an agreement that does not disadvantage New Zealand against its Australian competitors.”
Mr Petersen said while today’s announcement was a small step, Meat & Wool New Zealand supported the actions of Trade Minister, Phil Goff and his officials in encouraging the US Government to explore the P4 framework for a potential agreement to include New Zealand.
Meat & Wool New Zealand is working alongside American lamb producers to increase US lamb consumption and is also working with New Zealand processing companies to lift the consumption of New Zealand lamb in the US.
ends

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