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Harper in New Zealand for talks with ally seeking an end to dairy tariffs

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Prime Minister Stephen Harper has arrived in New Zealand for an official visit that will include discussions on Canada’s heavily protected dairy industry.

The issue is a touchy subject between the two countries.

Canada’s so-called supply management system is also a sore point in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a big, Asia-Pacific free-trade proposal involving 12 countries with a combined population of almost 800 million.

The U.S. is pressuring Canada to cut tariffs on foreign dairy products as a Trans-Pacific deal inches closer to agreement.

New Zealand, the world’s top dairy exporter, wants Canada to cut the tariffs as it seeks new markets.

Harper, who flew from Beijing to Ottawa to be at the Remembrance Day ceremonies on Tuesday, has now crossed the Pacific twice in just over three days.