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New Zealand Fails To Agree Tariff Cuts With Korea

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

19 June 2014


New Zealand and South Korea completed a seventh round of talks on their proposed free trade agreement (FTA), but reported on June 13, 2014, after six days of meetings in Auckland, that they had made little progress on agreeing further tariff reductions.

While the two countries were said to have made significant progress on other areas, such as chapters on services and investment, the elimination of tariffs on agricultural products remains a sticking point, particularly for South Korea.

New Zealand said previously that it is working hard to address South Korean perceptions about the impact of the proposed FTA on its domestic agricultural sector. New Zealand has said that it does not compete with South Korea producers in the domestic market for their most sensitive products.

Negotiations towards an FTA with Korea were announced by New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key and former Korean President Lee Myung-bak in 2009. They confirmed their commitment to conclude negotiations as soon as possible in 2012. The eighth round of talks is now scheduled to take place in Seoul in early July.

TAGS: tax | free trade agreement (FTA) | tariffs | food | agreements | Korea, South | New Zealand | import duty | trade

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