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China’s dairy tariffs part of FTA - Groser

China’s dairy tariffs part of FTA - Groser

22 June 2011

NZPA/Tariffs imposed by China on imported dairy products are part of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which New Zealand has benefitted greatly from, Trade Minister Tim Groser says.

Lincoln University Professor of Farm Management and Agribusiness Keith Woodford told Radio New Zealand this morning that about half New Zealand’s dairy exports to China had faced penalty tariffs.

National Distribution Union national secretary Robert Reid said the Government could do more to support industry here to make up for any imbalance.

He said assistance was needed to integrate the wool processing industry with textiles manufacturing to boost the industry.

Groser told the broadcaster that there were transitional safeguards on 11 tariff items which were within the rules and part of the negotiated deal.

’’We haven’t negotiated comparable transitions because to be perfectly frank we don’t consider the same degree of sensitivity applies.’’

The tariffs would be phased out.

Groser said that in four years since the FTA New Zealand dairy exports to China increased in value from $500 million to $2 billion.

’’We’ve done extremely well from this FTA.’’

He would not rule out agreeing to such measures again in future included the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

’’If we can get genuinely full liberalisation as we were able to get in the China case then that’s certainly not excluded.’’