Red meat sector welcomes signing of Korea FTA

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 free trade agreement (FTA)  with his Korean counterpart.

James Parsons“This deal is critical for New Zealand sheep and beef farmers and meat exporters, keeping us competitive in this key market,” says B+LNZ chairman James Parsons.

The New Zealand sheep and beef sector is worth $8.5 billion, with close to 90 percent 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 New Zealand’s beef exports are 40 percent.

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” says MIA chairman Bill FalcoBill Falconer2ner.

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.

Supplied by B+LNZ/MIA.

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