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  • 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

  • 21 Aug 2015 4:56 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Fisher & Paykel Healthcare wins Supreme Award at 2015 American Chamber of Commerce DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards

    AmCham celebrates 50 years

    Auckland, 21th August 2015 The 16th annual AmCham DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards and AmCham’s 50th Anniversary dinner were held at the Pullman Auckland Hotel last night, with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare winning the Supreme Award for trade with the United States.

    AmCham was delighted to welcome Prime Minister the Rt Hon John Key, who attended the AmCham Awards dinner and presented the three exporter awards, as well as the Supreme Award.

    Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has been developing innovative medical devices and systems for use in the field of sleep apnoea and respiratory acute care, adding value to patients, clinicians and healthcare organisations in New Zealand, North America and around the world.  While the company employs 3,150 people in 36 countries, North America represents 43% of all products sold.

    Chair of the Judging panel Stephen Titter said Fisher & Paykel Healthcare had consistently shown success and innovation in their products, which has seen their US business grow by 10% in the last year to US$235m. “The company is investing $10 to $15 million in the current year and employing an additional 40 people as it moves to a direct US hospital distribution model. They focus on continually improving their products, serving more patient groups, extending their range of products and growing their international presence to deliver robust revenue growth,” said Titter.

    Tim Baxter, country manager DHL Express New Zealand, who announced the supreme winner, said “Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has established itself as one of New Zealand’s most successful companies both in our local market and abroad. It is indicative of the opportunities that exist in the US market that Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has identified it as a key export area, and continues to work to develop this crucial trade lane. This is behaviour that DHL Express has also seen from other entrepreneurial and innovative exporters."

    “This year was one of the toughest ever for the Awards’ judges. Any one of the finalists could have been their category winner and all finalists should be recognized as winners for their outstanding achievements,” said Stephen Titter.

    The Supreme Award is chosen from the winners of each of the categories presented on the night. The complete list of winners is as follows:

    • Importer of the Year from the USA: Protempo Ltd
    • Investor of the Year to or from the USA: Bessemer Venture Partners for investment in Rocket Lab
    • Exporter of the Year – under NZ$500,000: Fuel50
    • Exporter of the Year – NZ$500,001 – $5 million:  Aranz Medical Ltd
    • Exporter of the Year – over NZ$5 million: Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd
    • Trevor Eagle Memorial Award – AmCham Supporter of the Year: Eric Mahoney
    • Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy: New Zealand Robotics Charitable Trust/Kiwibots
    • Supreme Award Winner:  Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd

    The AmCham DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards celebrate success and innovation in the export, import and investment sectors between New Zealand and its third-largest trading partner, the USA.  Winners of the importer and exporter categories receive $1,000 of free shipping from DHL Express, $2,000 for the over $5m category winner and 100,000 airline miles from Hawaiian Airlines.  The winner of the Eric & Kathy Hertz award has the choice between 100,000 airline miles from Hawaiian Airlines or $2,500.

    In addition to AmCham, DHL-Express and Hawaiian Airlines, the Awards are also supported by ASB Bank, Baldwins, Fonterra, Prescient Marketing & Communications, The Pullman Auckland Hotel, media partner The Business, and wine sponsors Fine Wine Delivery Company and Foley Family Wines.

    Pevious winners of the Supreme Award include Zespri International, Specialist Marine Interiors, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Zeacom, Pratt & Whitney Air New Zealand Services t/a Christchurch Engine Centre, Fonterra Co-operative Group, Buckley Systems, Vista Entertainment, Greenshell New Zealand and Orion Health.

  • 16 Jul 2015 7:28 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    AUCKLAND, 16 July, 2015– The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand has today announced the finalists for the 2015 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards, held in conjunction with Hawaiian Airlines. The awards, now into their 16th year, celebrate the success and innovation of those New Zealand companies doing business with the USA.

     Mike Hearn, Executive Director for AmCham, says “2015 has seen another very strong group of entrants, covering a diverse range of products and services. While technology companies are again to the forefront, there are also strong entries from healthcare/medical equipment, fruit grading equipment, wine, building products, film, cars and engineered products.   

     “Despite the high dollar, we continue to see many New Zealand businesses engaging with the US market in both depth and breadth. In the last year, two-way trade between New Zealand and the USA hit a new high of $11.22 billion, an increase of 29.8%, and accounted for 11.2% per cent of New Zealand’s total earnings from overseas trade.” says Mr Hearn.

     DHL Express Country Manager and lead sponsor, Tim Baxter says "The NZ/US trade lane is highly valuable for both importers and exporters operating in New Zealand. It’s exciting to see organisations from a wide range of industries, both large and small, recognising this value. No doubt the competition will be tough this year, but ultimately all these organisations have achieved success in the US market through the right business strategies and focus."  

     The Awards & 50th Anniversary gala dinner are being held on Thursday 20th August in Auckland at the Pullman Hotel. AmCham is delighted to have the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon John Key, again attend the dinner to present the exporter awards, along with US Ambassador Mark Gilbert. As part of our celebrations we are inviting all Past Prime Ministers; US Ambassadors to NZ; NZ Ambassadors to the USA, AmCham Past Presidents and others who have played a significant role in our success over the last 50 years.      

     The finalists are:

    Importer of the Year

    • BMW New Zealand
    • Roads & Concrete t/a Top ½
    • Protempo Ltd


    Exporter of the Year to the USA $1 to $500,000

    • Career Engagement Group t/a Fuel 50
    • Stqry
    • Stretchsence
    • VMob


    Exporter of the Year to the USA $500,001 to $5m

    ·        Straker Translations

    ·        Volpara Solutions

    ·        Abel Software

    ·        BFM Global Ltd

    ·        Pukeko Pictures

    ·        Aranz Medical Ltd

    ·        McKay Ltd


    Exporter of the Year to the USA over $5m

    • Scott Technology
    • Compac Sorting
    • Vista Entertainment
    • JMP Engineering Ltd
    • Constellation Brands
    • Fisher & Paykel Healthcare


    Each of the above winners receive $1,000 of free shipping with DHL Express ($2,000 for the over $5m category) and 100,000 Hawaiian Airlines Miles

     Investor of the Year to or from the USA  

    • Bessemer Ventures for investment in Rocket Lab
    • Blue Elephant for investment in Harmoney
    • CRG for investment in AFT Pharmaceuticals
    • Ric Kayne


    The Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy

    • NZ Robotics Charitable Trust
    • Achilles International NZ
    • High Tech Youth Network
    • Piha Surf Life Saving Club

     One of the above will be chosen as the Supreme winner.  One other award will be presented on the night:  The AmCham Supporter of the Year

    In addition to AmCham, DHL Express and Hawaiian Airlines, the awards are supported by ASB Bank, Baldwins, Fonterra Co-operative, Prescient Marketing & Communications, The Pullman Hotel and media sponsor The Business.

     The awards will be presented at a black tie gala dinner at the Pullman Hotel Auckland on Thursday 20th August. For details and tickets see

     In addition to AmCham, DHL Express and Hawaiian Airlines, the awards are supported by ASB Bank, Baldwins, Fonterra Co-operative, Prescient Marketing & Communications, The Pullman Hotel and media sponsor The Business.

     Previous winners of the Supreme Award have included Zespri International, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Orion Health, Zeacom, SMI Group, Fonterra and Pratt & Whitney Air New Zealand Services t/a Christchurch Engine Centre, Buckley Systems, Greenshell New Zealand and Vista Entertainment.

  • 15 Jul 2015 10:28 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Trade Minister Tim Groser today announced that New Zealand has finalised its accession to the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), and it will come into effect next month.

    New Zealand businesses will have guaranteed access to bid for an estimated US$1.7 trillion in annual overseas government contracts through joining the GPA, which creates new opportunities for Kiwi businesses to export more products and services to more destinations, Mr Joyce says.

    “Formal procedures in Geneva have now been completed which means that from mid-August, New Zealand companies will be able to do business freely across 43 WTO member countries, including the US, Canada, Japan and 28 countries of the EU.”

    The GPA covers the purchase of a broad range of goods and services that government agencies buy from the private sector, including construction, and will help achieve the Business Growth Agenda goal of increasing exports to 40% of GDP by 2025, Mr Joyce says.

    “Selling to international governments without having to set up offshore branches or other ‘work arounds’ is a key area of opportunity for New Zealand exporters. Governments worldwide are looking for the types of products and services that New Zealand offers.”

    New Zealand’s accession follows two years of negotiations. From next month, New Zealand exporters seeking to access the government procurement markets of the other GPA member countries will be able to compete on equal terms with their international counterparts, Mr Groser says.

    Member countries are not allowed to discriminate against businesses from another GPA member country in respect of government procurement opportunities covered by the agreement. They must also follow rules relating to competition and openness.

    “Joining will not have a big impact on New Zealand government agencies because they already conduct their procurement in line with the agreement’s fundamental principles.

    “We already follow the rules, but until now have not had the same opportunity for our New Zealand exporters. Joining up to the GPA will improve all access and reduce costs for exporters.

    “This is a significant step in opening up large overseas markets to our Kiwi suppliers.”