INDEPENDENT NEWS

Has Sutton Missed Chance To Remove Lamb Tariffs?

Published: Tue 14 Aug 2001 12:29 AM
Has Sutton Missed The Best Opportunity To Remove Lamb Tariffs?
We can only hope that in the last few hours the New Zealand Government has forced the United States to arbitration over lamb tariffs, National's International Trade spokesperson John Luxton said today.
Mr Luxton's comments come as the Government passed the WTO deadline for forcing the US to arbitration over its illegal tariffs against New Zealand lamb.
"Despite a lot of pressure from our sheep farmers, Jim Sutton has so far taken a very laid-back approach to ensuring these costly restrictions are removed. He has not followed through after the former National Government won the WTO case that the US lamb tariffs are illegal.
"It now looks like we've been rolled again by United States' reluctance. New Zealand farmers will be outraged that this Government's inaction now forces us to rely solely on lengthy bilateral negotiations to resolve the issue.
"It's in the interests of the United States to stall the process. After all, they want to protect their farmers as long as they can, despite the WTO ruling that they are violating international trade rules.
"It's in the interests of New Zealand however to keep the pressure on, but alarmingly the Trade Negotiations Minister has done little. His approach has been a softly-softly one to stay on side with the US at the expense of New Zealand sheep farmers," Mr Luxton said.
Ends

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