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  • 19 Apr 2016 1:38 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Economic Development and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce leaves for the United States tomorrow to promote US-New Zealand business links, and leverage New Zealand’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).

    In August 2015, New Zealand joined the GPA, providing New Zealand companies guaranteed access to US government contracts.

    “The US Government is the world’s largest purchaser of goods and services. Federal government spending is worth more than US$600 billion per annum. New Zealand’s GPA accession improves the contracting environment for New Zealand firms. We also value the US as a key science and innovation partner,” Mr Joyce says.

    “New Zealand has a strong international reputation for honesty, integrity, quality of government and reputable business practices and legal systems. This is a great “brand” for New Zealand companies to build from.”

    The mission aims to attract interest in New Zealand solutions for US state and federal government and to secure the attention of key US government department leaders, buyers and influencers.

    Mr Joyce leads a delegation of New Zealand exporters targeting government procurement at a two-day CEO Summit in Washington DC, organised by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

    “US procurement is committed to transparent and competitive government procurement that delivers the best value for money. It is a very lucrative, complex market, and GPA membership gives New Zealand businesses the right to bid for government contracts,” Mr Joyce says. “There are opportunities for New Zealand businesses in almost every sector in the US.”

    While there, Mr Joyce will also visit Berkeley and Georgetown universities, and call on the Assistant Secretary of State to talk about New Zealand's wide range of academic, cultural and educational flows between both countries.

    Mr Joyce will also visit San Francisco and Houston. He will return to New Zealand on 22 April.

  • 12 Mar 2016 11:34 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)
    AmCham survey finds US companies in NZ support TPPA

    “Annual AmCham survey finds no TPPA opposition from US companies operating in NZ”

    The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand has conducted an annual survey of US companies operating in NZ since 2006. As part of their 2015 survey companies were asked them if they supported TPPA, with not one expressing their opposition.

     Drilling into the survey, AmCham Executive Director, Mike Hearn points out that preliminary results show 80% of those responding expressly note their support for the agreement, that 20% skipped the question but that not one respondent expressed opposition to the agreement.

     “Clearly these are internationally savvy enterprises and so this result comes as no real surprise,” said Mr Hearn.

     Drawing from AmCham’s submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee, Mr Hearn, said there were real wins for NZ exporters to the US in the dairy, timber, beef, horticulture, agricultural goods and wine industries.

     “Over $826m of New Zealand’s protein products will be duty free into the US on the TPPA’s entry into force, with other duties for New Zealand dairy exports within WTO tariff quotas also being eliminated.”

     AmCham’s submission also points out that the advent of Closer Economic Relations (CER) with Australia saw firms on both sides of the Tasman take up trading opportunities far more quickly than anticipated.

     Mr Hearn said he was sure TPPA would also deliver results more quickly than anticipated as New Zealand firms were not only already internationally very competitive but, from what he’d seen of our companies operating in the US, nimble and quick to capitalise on commercial opportunities.

     “TPPA also opens up very lucrative markets in Asia such as Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam,” he said.

     Click here for copy of submission to Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee 

  • 10 Feb 2016 11:30 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Trade Minister Todd McClay announced today the Government will be running nation-wide roadshows on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    “The roadshows are for interested members of the public to learn more about this important trade agreement, and to assist businesses identify and plan for new export opportunities when TPP comes into force,” says Mr McClay. 

    Registrations are now open for the first four roadshows at
    •   Auckland, 7 March
    •   Christchurch, 11 March
    •   Dunedin, 14 March
    •   Wellington, 18 March

    Roadshows will be also held in following months in Hamilton, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Tauranga, and Whangarei.

    “The roadshows will build on the large amount of information the Government has made available on TPP, including the full text of the Agreement, detailed factsheets and sectoral outcomes, and background analysis.

    “Each roadshow will include an overview information session, followed by workshops on specific areas of TPP.

    “For businesses, it will be an opportunity to learn about how outcomes in TPP are directly relevant to their areas of speciality and markets, but also to connect with online tools, business groups, and government agencies that can assist their planning for TPP’s entry into force,” says Mr McClay. 

    One such online tool for TPP was launched today, with the addition of the TPP market access outcomes to the New Zealand tariff finder:

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will also be conducting a number of Hui in February and March to discuss TPP with Māori. Further information on these is available on the TPP website.  


  • 09 Feb 2016 10:45 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Trade Minister Todd McClay today announced the commencement of Parliamentary treaty examination of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), following signature of the Agreement on 4 February 2016. 

    “The Government has presented the final text of TPP, together with its National Interest Analysis (NIA), to the House of Representatives for treaty examination by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee.

    “During Parliamentary treaty examination, the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee can choose to call for public submissions. After it has completed its treaty examination, it will then report back to the House of Representatives and, if it chooses, make recommendations to the Government,” says Mr McClay.

    Alongside these documents, the Government also presented the text of four intellectual property treaties to which New Zealand will need to accede under TPP, along with the separate National Impact Analyses required for each of those treaties. 

    “Legislative changes required in order to implement TPP will be introduced to Parliament at a later stage, and go through normal Parliamentary procedures. 

    “The full set of legislative changes that will need to be taken up by this Bill is set out in the NIA.

    “Only when these steps have been completed, and other countries have completed their own domestic approval procedures, will TPP be able to enter into force.”

    The Government will also be running a number of road shows and hui-a-iwi after signature for interested members of the public, and to assist businesses with preparation for TPP’s entry into force. 

    The TPP NIA is available at New Zealand’s treaty making process is set out here


  • 04 Feb 2016 10:35 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)
    The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand (AmCham) applauds today’s signature in Auckland of the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam. 

    The agreement covers some 40 percent of global GDP and a market of more than 800 million people, and around one third of world trade. It sets a new standard for trade and investment in one of the world’s fastest growing and most dynamic regions, with interest already being shown by a number of other economies throughout the region to join at a later time.

     AmCham Executive Director Mike Hearn stated “We congratulate the Trade Ministers and all the negotiators on today’s significant achievement and look forward to working with our AmCham colleagues in other TPP countries towards ratification and implementation of the agreement at the earliest opportunity”.  

    AmCham New Zealand has been promoting trade, investment, tourism and education links between the United States of America and New Zealand for over 50 years and is the largest bilateral business council in New Zealand.

  • 29 Jan 2016 10:40 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Dear Prime Minister

    We welcome the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Auckland on 4 February.

    New Zealand stands to gain significantly from TPP, which links 36% of global GDP, 812 million consumers and includes markets taking 40% of our exports. Our major trade interests – meat, horticulture, wine, seafood, forest products, dairy and manufactured goods – will all benefit from the reduction and/or elimination of tariffs and non tariff barriers especially in markets like Japan, the United States, Canada, Mexico and Peru. Our services sectors will also benefit from improved rules governing trade in services.

    It is inconceivable that New Zealand would allow our access to markets to be impaired and our competitiveness to decline by standing outside such an important agreement when our competitors are part of it.

    These tangible trade gains have been secured without the need for significant policy change in New Zealand. We are already a largely open market for foreign competition. We have robust laws for environmental and labour protection. TPP clearly provides for continuing favourable treatment for Maori under the Treaty of Waitangi, which is fully protected. Our state owned enterprises already operate along commercial lines. Our current policies in relation to intellectual property will also require little change, except in the area of copyright. We welcome your assurances that TPP will not entail increases in the costs of medicines for individual Kiwis. The TPP contains a number of provisions that will enhance patient access to innovative health care in member countries, including groundbreaking provisions for strong medical device regulatory coherence and systems based on international best practices.

    We support the protection that investor state dispute settlement provides to investors in New Zealand and to our businesses that make investments in other countries. These protections have been a feature of our previous trade agreements. It appears to us that the Government’s continuing right to regulate in areas such as public health, the environment and land purchases is effectively safeguarded in TPP. The checks and balances in the agreement pose little likelihood that New Zealand would be successfully challenged. Foreign direct investment in New Zealand has been an important source of economic growth and job creation over the years and we need to continue to attract it.

    New Zealand benefits enormously from trade. It creates higher value jobs, ensures our firms are globally competitive, keeps us innovating and investing in new technology and the latest management and work-place practices. Our integration with the rest of the world is vital for continuing economic success. TPP takes us a step further in that direction and provides a new body of rules for trade and investment, which New Zealand has had a hand in making.

    Yours sincerely,

  • 21 Jan 2016 10:38 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Trade Minister Todd McClay can now confirm that the Government is planning to host the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in New Zealand on Thursday 4 February.

    “New Zealand has issued invitations to TPP Ministers to sign the Agreement in Auckland.

    “Signature will mark the end of the TPP negotiating process,” says Mr McClay. 

    “Following signature, all 12 countries will be able to begin their respective domestic ratification processes and will have up to two years to complete that before the agreement enters into force.

    “For New Zealand, following signature the Government will submit the final text of TPP and the National Interest Analysis to Parliament. The legislative changes to implement TPP will then go through normal policy and Parliamentary procedures. 

    “During this period before TPP enters into force, the Government will be running a series of roadshows throughout the country. 

    “The roadshows are for interested members of the public to learn more about TPP, and to assist businesses identify and plan for new export opportunities when TPP comes into force,” says Mr McClay.

    The TPP region accounts for 36 per cent of the global economy, and over 40 per cent of New Zealand’s exports ($20 billion goods, and $8 billion services). 

    “Once TPP is fully phased in, tariffs will be eliminated on 93 per cent of New Zealand’s trade with our new FTA partners: the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Peru.

    “TPP will ultimately give New Zealand around $260 million of tariff savings a year,” says Mr McClay.

  • 07 Jan 2016 8:38 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement:

    "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today announces its support for the TPP and pledges to advocate for its approval by Congress. This decision follows careful review of the agreement's text and deliberation by our International Policy Committee and Board of Directors.

    "Steep tariffs and other trade barriers too often deny a level playing field for U.S.-made products and services in the Asia-Pacific region. The TPP will remedy this by eliminating all tariffs on U.S. exports of manufactured goods, opening new markets for American agricultural exports, and strengthening trade in services. It will boost economic growth, provide new opportunities for small businesses, and help create American jobs.

    "No trade agreement is perfect, and the TPP is no exception. However, the benefits of a trade agreement lie in how it is interpreted, implemented, and enforced. With that in mind, we're rolling up our sleeves to work with the administration, Congress and our TPP partners to ensure the agreement is implemented in a way that maximizes its commercial benefits, including market access, rules, and intellectual property protections. We intend to see this job through to the end-to the agreement's entry-into-force and beyond.

    "The TPP will set new standards for trade not only for the Asia-Pacific region but for future trade agreements as well. We strongly encourage the? Obama ?administration to work with Congress to address legitimate concerns expressed by industry and legislators to achieve the highest possible standards for American workers and businesses. Working together we hope to ensure the agreement secures strong bipartisan approval."

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

  • 07 Dec 2015 5:07 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Prime Minister John Key today announced that Tim Groser has been appointed New Zealand's Ambassador to Washington and will take up the post early in 2016.

    Mr Groser will resign from Cabinet on Monday 14 December, enabling him to fulfil his responsibilities as Climate Change Issues Minister at the current COP21 meeting in Paris.

    Mr Groser will resign from Parliament effective from 19 December, and will be replaced in the House by Maureen Pugh from the West Coast. Ms Pugh will be sworn in as a new Member of Parliament when the House resumes in February 2016.

    Judith Collins will re-join Cabinet taking up the Police and Corrections portfolios. Ms Collins will be sworn in on 14 December.

    "I want to congratulate Tim Groser on his appointment as Ambassador to Washington. His experience in the trade portfolio, including the successful conclusion of the TPP negotiations, makes Mr Groser an ideal person to represent our country's interests in Washington,” says Mr Key.

    "On a personal note, Tim will be very much missed by his colleagues in Cabinet and Caucus. Tim has been a valued colleague since his election to Parliament in 2005 and has made a significant contribution to New Zealand's interests.

    "I am pleased to welcome Judith Collins back to Cabinet. Judith has been a competent Minister, and will quickly be able to pick up the Police and Corrections portfolios that she has successfully held before.”

    Following Mr Groser's resignation and the ministerial appointments, Mr Key has made a small number of portfolio changes.

    The key changes are as follows: 

    • Paula Bennett picks up the Climate Change Issues portfolio from Mr Groser.
    • Todd McClay becomes Minister of Trade. He retains his responsibilities for State Owned Enterprises, while handing over the Revenue portfolio to Michael Woodhouse.
    • Having picked up the Revenue portfolio, Michael Woodhouse hands Police to Judith Collins.
    • Sam Lotu-Iiga picks up the Local Government portfolio from Paula Bennett, while handing Corrections to Ms Collins.

    All ministerial changes become effective on Monday 14 December.

    Mr Key also offered ACT Leader David Seymour the positions of Minister for Regulatory Reform and Associate Minister of Education.

    “He declined my offer as he wants to see through his member’s bill on End of Life Choice. He is also focused on continuing to re-build the ACT party and working hard as the new MP for Epsom.

    “I respect his decision and look forward to continuing to work closely with him in his current roles,” says Mr Key.

  • 06 Nov 2015 11:20 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Today, the Obama Administration released the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as negotiated by the United States and 11 partner countries across the Asia-Pacific region. It’s a historic agreement, and releasing it to the public is an important milestone; but it is also just one step in an extensive process of consultation and consideration provided for by the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) — bipartisan legislation that Congress passed and President Obama signed into law this year.

    The agreement boosts Made-in-America exports, supports higher-paying American jobs, and levels the playing field so that Americans can compete and win in the global economy. And in addition to advancing our economic interests, TPP reflects our values — promoting fairer competition, a cleaner environment, and stronger protections for workers across nearly 40 percent of the global economy.

    In order to help make sure Americans and Congress can fully evaluate what’s in TPP for themselves, we released the text today alongside an array of resources designed to increase the public’s understanding of what’s in the deal.

    So far, the Obama administration has made the following TPP materials public:

    On top of this, we’ll be responding directly to the American people and their representatives in Congress — through travel, real-time conversations online, conference calls, and briefings for Congress, stakeholders, and the press. So we hope you’ll follow @USTradeRep and the Director of the White House Business Council @Diana44 on Twitter, and check out as well as

    We also know that there is interest in a roadmap for the TPP process going forward, as set forth by the TPA. The next steps will allow for a period of careful and extensive review and consideration before TPP is signed by President Obama, and before Congress then votes on the agreement. Here’s what you can expect:

    1. 90 Days for Public and Congressional Review Prior to the President Signing the Agreement: While TPA requires the full text of the agreement to be publicly available for 60 days before the President signs the agreement, we have now taken the additional step of committing to have the text publicly available for longer than required—a full 90 days—before the President signs TPP.
    2. Additional Resource for Analysis and Review: Once the President signs TPP, the International Trade Commission (ITC) will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the potential economic impact of TPP that will also be made available to the public.
    3. Submitting Legislative Text: In advance of Congressional consideration, the Administration will submit draft legislative text to Congress that would implement the agreement, if passed by both houses of Congress. The legislative clock for consideration will not begin until the Administration sends final legislative text to Capitol Hill.
    4. Congressional Consideration: After legislation is submitted, per the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, the House of Representatives and the Senate each have a certain number of legislative days to consider the legislation in the committees of jurisdiction and on the floors of each chamber.
    5. Presidential Notification: If both houses of Congress pass the TPP implementation bill, the President then is empowered to sign the implementing legislation into law. The President will notify Congress in writing 30 days in advance of the agreement taking effect with respect to each of the 11 other TPP countries, once the President determines that each meets its obligations under TPP.

    We are looking forward to many months of discussion and examination of the TPP text. We fully expect that once Congress and the American people have conducted a careful and thorough review of the agreement, it will earn strong, bipartisan support.


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