Pacific Alliance FTA negotiations hailed
July 4, 2017
Federated Farmers says it’s excellent news that New Zealand is underway with free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the Pacific Alliance countries of Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia.
The announcement by trade minister Todd McClay that the five nations will strive to improve market access and level the playing field is an important step in the New Zealand Trade Agenda 2030 strategy. It also represents the ongoing commitment from four members of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to improving the trade environment in the Pacific region.
Two-way trade between these four nations and New Zealand is currently worth $1.1 billion annually but there is plenty of scope to boost that further. Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru together imported $3.5 billion of dairy products in 2016 and the removal of trade barriers with New Zealand could see us win a bigger slice of that.
"The potential for dairy trade with Mexico is particularly significant," Federated Farmers Vice-President Andrew Hoggard said. New Zealand’s dairy exports to Mexico, population 127 million, were curtailed when the USA settled a deal with them under NAFTA in the 1990s.
"If we could get back to an even playing field on trade with Mexico if could be very signification for New Zealand dairy - and sheep and beef as well," Mr Hoggard said.
Free trade is a step forward wherever it happens, he said, and with the Pacific Alliance being the equivalent of the world’s sixth largest economy, "we look forward to smooth and speedy negotiations of a high quality agreement".