Not to be lost in the midst of Social Security reform and sanctions against Syria is a lobbying effort to get a free trade agreement for New Zealand. With all the controversy over China and the WTO, this one seems like a no-brainer: New Zealand agriculture isn't government-sponsored and farmers haven't received subsidies for 15 years now (unlike, say, the French). And we're not just talking Kiwis either: New Zealand is a meat-lover's paradise. At the moment, only 3 percent of New Zealand beef makes its way to U.S. restaurants and butcheries. This could change with an FTA, providing American consumers with better choices than suspect Canadian beef and astronomically priced Wagyu from Japan. There is no quota on lamb, and a good thing at that. New Zealand lamb is arguably the best in the world (something about the diet) and may one day eclipse Kobe beef as the must-have for gourmands. I recently had the pleasure of sampling some New Zealand lamb chops at the launch party for the bipartisan Friends of New Zealand Congressional Caucus on Capitol Hill. "Succulent" and "falling-off-the-bone" are the two words that came to mind as I sank my teeth into the chops. This was followed by generous servings of New Zealand wines. Though the whites dominate the countryside, the reds, including a Seifred Malbec, were exquisite. When a free trade agreement is passed, wine lovers and carnivores alike will have much to rejoice over.
(No, I have not been paid by the government of New Zealand for this endorsement.)
19 hours ago