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Red Meat Sector Welcomes Signing of Korea FTA

26 March 2015

NEW ZEALAND - The recently signed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Korea will be a significant step towards reducing the overall amount of tariffs paid on New Zealand red meat exports, according to the Chairmen of Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

Trade Minister Tim Groser signed this week the New Zealand Korea FTA with his Korean counterpart.

“This deal is critical for New Zealand sheep and beef farmers and meat exporters, keeping us competitive in this key market,” said Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman James Parsons.

The New Zealand sheep and beef sector is worth $8.5 billion, with close to 90% exported, on which we paid $318 million of tariffs in 2013. A significant proportion of those tariffs were paid in Korea ($52m) – where applied tariffs on our beef exports are 40%.

Korea is New Zealand’s fourth-largest beef market by volume, taking nearly $125 million of beef exports last year. However, trade volumes have dropped significantly in recent years, partly due to competitors such as the United States, and more recently Australia and Canada, having a tariff advantage through their FTAs with Korea.

“These negotiations were tough, and credit must go to our government negotiators and to Trade Minister Groser for the excellent job they did in getting this deal done” said MIA Chairman Bill Falconer.

B+LNZ and MIA work together to improve access for sheep and beef products to overseas markets, including by providing in-depth analysis in support of the Government’s FTA negotiation efforts.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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