19 Aug 2008

ASEAN trade talks deadlocked

3:28 pm on 19 August 2008

Negotiations over a free trade deal with ASEAN countries have reached deadlock over the removal of tariffs on key agricultural products.

New Zealand and Australia have been negotiating a free trade deal with the bloc since the beginning of 2005, and were hoping to reach agreement before the end of the year.

But ASEAN negotiators are now unwilling to meet demands for the eventual elimination of tariffs on dairy and meat exports as part of a free trade agreement.

Trade Minister Phil Goff will attempt to break the impasse at a ministerial meeting in Singapore at the end of August.