Log in

Latest News

AmCham shares news updates from member companies - subscribe by RSS, follow our LinkedIn page or become a member to receive notifications. 
  • 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.


  • 06 Nov 2015 11:17 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    The text of the TPP was released by TPP Parties on 5 November 2015 and can be accessed by Chapter below. Legal verification of the text will continue in the coming weeks. The Agreement will also be translated into French and Spanish language versions.

    The Government is preparing a legal synopsis of the Agreement and this will be available below in the coming days.

    AmCham will be working with our members to review the text. We are already working with other TPP AmChams on a strategy to ensure the passage of the legislation.  

  • 06 Oct 2015 11:41 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    The American Chamber of Commerce welcomes the successful conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, as announced by Trade Minister Tim Groser and his TPP counterparts earlier today in Atlanta.

    AmCham Executive Director Mike Hearn said "the TPP deal is a positive start to removing trade barriers with an important group of economies that New Zealand hasn't had FTA's with - the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Peru. TPP nations represent 40% of world GDP. The US is already New Zealand's third largest trading partner with bilateral trade valued at over $11 billion annually.

    This will have been a hard deal to conclude with all the competing interests and compromises will have been required by all parties. While we have not seen the detail of the agreement we understand there will be benefits for NZ exporters from tariff and quotas reductions for beef, dairy, wine, manufactured goods traded with the USA".

    According to Trade Minister Grosser "The most significant change is an extension of New Zealand's copyright period from 50 years to 70 years. The cost of this to consumers and businesses will be small to begin with and increases gradually over a 20-year period. Consumers will not pay more for subsidised medicines as a result of TPP and few additional costs are expected for the Government in the area of pharmaceuticals. There will also be no change to the PHARMAC model. Regarding data protection for biologic medicines, New Zealand's existing policy settings and practices will be adequate to meet the provisions we have finally agreed on. TPP also contains a provision that allows the Government to rule out ISDS challenges over tobacco control measures"

    AmCham will be working with our members to analyse and debate the agreement followed by working with both the US and NZ Governments on ratification process.

    Mike Hearn
    Executive Director
    American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand Inc.
    Tel: 64 9 309 1094 (dd)  Fax: 64 9 309 1090  Mobile: 64  (0)21 707 506

  • 06 Oct 2015 9:38 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the successful conclusion of negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – New Zealand’s biggest free trade agreement.

    “This agreement will give our exporters much better access to a market of more than 800 million customers in 11 countries across Asia and the Pacific, and help Kiwi firms do business overseas,” Mr Key says.

    “In particular, TPP represents New Zealand’s first FTA relationship with the largest and third-largest economies in the world – the United States and Japan. Successive New Zealand governments have been working to achieve this for 25 years.”

    TPP has been a significant focus for the National-led Government, as part of its wider plan to diversify the economy by building strong trade, investment and economic ties around the world.

    “As a country, we won’t get rich selling things to ourselves. Instead, we need to sell more of our products and services to customers around the world, and TPP helps makes that happen,” Mr Key says.

    TPP will eliminate tariffs on 93 per cent of New Zealand’s exports to our new FTA partners, the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and Peru.

    Dairy exporters will have access to these markets through newly created quotas, in addition to tariff elimination on a number of products.

    Tariffs on all other New Zealand exports to TPP countries will be eliminated, with the exception of beef exports to Japan, where tariffs will reduce significantly.

    TPP also reduces non-tariff barriers to trade, ensures fair access for New Zealand firms doing business in TPP countries and provides greater opportunities to bid for government procurement contracts overseas.

    “We’re disappointed there wasn’t agreement to eliminate all dairy tariffs but overall it’s a very good deal for New Zealand,” Mr Key says.

    “We’ve seen with China how a free trade agreement can boost exports of goods and services and deepen trade and investment links.

    “The overall benefit of TPP to New Zealand is estimated to be at least $2.7 billion a year by 2030.

    “That’s more jobs, higher incomes and a better standard of living for New Zealanders,” Mr Key says.

    “Many concerns raised previously about TPP are not reflected in the final agreement. For example, consumers will not pay more for subsidised medicines as a result of TPP and the PHARMAC model will not change.

    “Now the negotiations have concluded, people will see that TPP is, overall, very positive for New Zealand,” Mr Key says.

    The conclusion of TPP follows recent trade agreements with Korea, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, ASEAN/Australia and Malaysia. The Government is continuing negotiations with a number of other countries and is actively pursuing the launch of an FTA with the European Union.

  • 06 Oct 2015 9:35 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement will deliver significant benefits to New Zealand and build on the hard-won gains from previous free trade agreements, Trade Minister Tim Groser says.

    “This comprehensive agreement offers much better access for New Zealand goods and services in 11 important markets across Asia and the Pacific.

    “TPP breaks new ground for us. It is our first FTA relationship with the United States – the world’s biggest consumer market – as well as with Japan, Canada, Mexico and Peru.

    “As a result, New Zealand will now have FTAs covering our top five trading partners – Australia, China, the United States, Japan and Korea.

    “We’ve seen from previous FTAs, including the China FTA, how positive they have been for New Zealand trade and investment, and therefore in supporting jobs and growth for New Zealanders.

    “Not being in TPP, on the other hand, would put New Zealand at a competitive disadvantage compared to other countries,” Mr Groser says.

    Tariffs will be eliminated on 93 per cent of New Zealand’s trade with its new FTA partners, once TPP is fully phased in. This will ultimately represent $259 million of tariff savings a year – around twice the savings initially forecast for the China FTA.

    As a result of TPP:

    • Tariffs on beef exports to TPP countries will be eliminated, with the exception of Japan where tariffs reduce from 38.5 per cent to 9 per cent.
    • New Zealand dairy exporters will have preferential access to new quotas into the United States, Japan, Canada and Mexico, in addition to tariff elimination on a number of products.
    • Tariffs on all other New Zealand exports to TPP countries – including fruit and vegetables, sheep meat, forestry products, seafood, wine and industrial products – will be eliminated.

    TPP also reduces non-tariff barriers to trade and ensures fair access for New Zealand firms doing business in TPP countries.

    “TPP sets high standards in many areas,” Mr Groser says. “New Zealand is already an open, transparent and trade-friendly country, which means only a fraction of TPP’s obligations will require changes to our current practices.”

    The most significant change is an extension of New Zealand’s copyright period from 50 years to 70 years. The cost of this to consumers and businesses will be small to begin with and increases gradually over a 20-year period.

    “Other potentially far-reaching or costly proposals raised earlier in the negotiations were not included in the final agreement,” Mr Groser says.

    “Consumers will not pay more for subsidised medicines as a result of TPP and few additional costs are expected for the Government in the area of pharmaceuticals. There will also be no change to the PHARMAC model.

    “Regarding data protection for biologic medicines, New Zealand’s existing policy settings and practices will be adequate to meet the provisions we have finally agreed on," Mr Groser says.

    Investor-state dispute settlement provisions have been included in TPP, as they have in previous FTAs.

    “This will give New Zealand investors more confidence and certainty when doing business overseas and does not prevent the Government regulating for legitimate public policy reasons.

    “TPP also contains a provision that allows the Government to rule out ISDS challenges over tobacco control measures,” Mr Groser says.

    “Overall, TPP is a very positive agreement for New Zealand, further improving access to international markets, which supports our exporters to grow and create new jobs.

    “New Zealand supports the release of the text before it is signed by TPP governments but arrangements are yet to be finalised.

    “TPP, like any free trade agreement, will go through New Zealand’s Parliamentary processes. We expect it to come into force within two years.”

    The attached document contains details of TPP. More information on specific outcomes for industry sectors can be found at

   © American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand Inc  •  Site by