Over the last 6-8 weeks a team of Villanova University (PA) students have been working on a research report - Digital Free Trade Between the USA and New Zealand.
Their recommendations were:
Given the considerations laid out above, our analysis has indicated that New
Zealand should sign onto the IPEF modules once released in order to facilitate and
prioritize a digital trade agreement between New Zealand and the United States. The priorities of both parties seem to align under a non-traditional trade agreement, which eases the passage process significantly, while also allowing both parties to benefit from an extended range of stakeholders. IPEF marks US leadership on a rapidly developing trade issue, especially within the Indo-Pacific region in which it wants to expand relations to counter China’s active role. As the United States is not currently participating in the current trade frameworks operating within this area such as RCEP, CPTPP, and DEPA, it appears paramount to advance a timely and comprehensive agreement such as IPEF to ensure continued US presence in the area.
For New Zealand, the IPEF seems to cover the areas of trade, particularly in the digital realm, that our findings demonstrate the need and desire for. Given the increasing role that digital trade will play in a more technologically enabled global economy, the IPEF format ensures flexibility in an evolving area as characterized by “partnership” trade arrangements.
Additionally, with a digital focus envisioned to be embedded within each module,
reflective of the far-reaching role it has for trade relations, it also benefits New Zealand as areas such as labor and the environment will be specifically addressed. The Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Acts, better known as the Kiwi Act was signed into law in 2018, eases visa challenges for NZ workers traveling to the US to work. As such, being a member of IPEF and other US led agreements would deepen both diplomatic and trade ties between the countries if NZ wanted to pursue an even more extensive bilateral digital free trade agreement in the future.
The read the full report Digital Free Trade Between the USA and New Zealand
Our thanks to all who contributed to the report.