New Zealand against UK and EU ‘split’ tariff plan
Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association have stated they ‘strongly oppose’ the European Union and United Kingdom’s proposal to ‘split’ the EU’s World Trade Organisation Tariff Rate Quotas between them.
The UK and EU have officially notified the WTO of their draft tariff schedules, which propose to split tariff rate quotas that allow access for New Zealand sheep meat and beef exports.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive Sam McIvor says the sector has been firm in its position since the UK Brexit referendum result came in.
He stated: “Our sector will not accept any proposal that erodes the quality and quantity of our WTO quotas.
“The tariff rate quotas form part of the EU and UK’s WTO commitments and are legally binding rights and obligations. We expect both the EU and the UK to honour their legal obligations and commitments.
“We are open to creative and mutually beneficial solutions that work for all parties involved and ensure the least amount of disruption to the market.
“But for that to happen, the EU and the UK must undertake genuine and constructive engagement with negotiating partners and stakeholders.”
MIA chief executive Tim Ritchie added that the sector cannot accept the EU and UK’s ‘split’ proposal, as it would mean New Zealand would lose the ability to adjust the destination of its exports in order to responsibly respond to the individual country market conditions across the current EU 28 membership.
He explained: “We are also absolutely confused by the timing of this proposal – given that the terms of the UK’s exit have yet to be negotiated between the UK and EU. Without clarity and details around the future trading relationship between the UK and EU, it is very difficult to assess the implications of their proposal.”
Beef + Lamb New Zealand and MIA have registered their opposition to the EU’s proposal in person in Brussels, Geneva and London and through a joint written submission to the EU Commission.