UK’s WTO quota plan a ‘trade distortion mechanism’

By Ashley Williams contact

- Last updated on GMT

Grant believed the split proposal was wrong
Grant believed the split proposal was wrong
Beef and Lamb New Zealand’s (B+LNZ) and Meat Industry Association’s (MIA) Brexit representative Jeff Grant has told GlobalMeatNews the UK and EU’s quota plan under the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a “trade distortion mechanism”.

Speaking at the New Zealand High Commission in London, Grant believed the split proposal was wrong and was “against​” WTO rules, as well as being contrary to New Zealand’s views.

The UK and EU officially notified the WTO of their draft tariff schedules​, which proposes to split tariff rate quotas that allow access for New Zealand sheepmeat and beef exports.

The plan sparked a negative response from the New Zealand meat sector including B+LNZ’s and MIA’s chief executives, Sam McIvor and Tim Ritchie respectively, who opposed the EU’s proposal in person, as well as through a joint written submission to the EU Commission.

New Zealand has always been a tough fighter around the WTO because we see that as significant in terms of future trade negotiations and partnerships going forward​,” said Grant. “From a New Zealand perspective, we have probably been the most stable in terms of the economy and our position of products in the market​.

We are seeing high venison, beef and lamb prices in New Zealand, which have created a situation for uncertainty because we don’t know what that final structure is in terms of a development in the Brexit negotiations,” ​Grant added. “Talking about splitting a quota, when we don’t know what formal arrangement there is going to be, it is quite significant​.”

Despite disagreeing with the WTO quota plan, Grant added that New Zealand had the flexibility in the market to shift products.

Grant was appointed as Brexit representative​ for the meat bodies in April to help strengthen the New Zealand red meat sector’s ties with the UK and safeguard the country’s exports to key markets.

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