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.