The Trans Tasman Political Letter reports informed sources in
Wellington advise NZ has won a spectacular victory against
Australia in the World Trade Organisation in the case it took
to secure free access to the Australian market for apples.
The sources say the WTO panel, which adjudicated the long-running
dispute, comprehensively rejected the Australian defence.
Australia has blocked the import of NZ apples, despite the
existence of a free trade agreement, and scientific support for
the NZ argument there is no risk of the transmission of fire
This is a huge and long awaited victory.
NZPA provides background:
The trade row has been running since NZ apples were first banned from Australia over 80 years ago after fireblight was found on this side of the Tamsan .
Though New Zealand scientists have found fireblight in Australian ornamental plants and also showed that the bacterial disease is unlikely to be transmitted on mature, clean fruit, efforts to gain access to the potentially-lucrative Australian market in 1986, 1989, and 1995 were rejected.
Further talks over the restrictions also failed when New Zealand was given access with conditions so strict that exports would not be economically viable and so it applied to the WTO for the matter to be resolved in 2007.
If the Australian Government refuses to accept the ruling, them NZ can apply for sanctions. With Rudd, you never now what he might do. He should just accept the ruling.