Mexico joins TPP

Meat exporters to the Americas will welcome the news announced by Minister of Trade, Tim Groser, that Mexico is joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, alongside current participants Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Viet Nam.

“We believe Mexico’s participation in the negotiations will contribute to the objective of creating a 21st century agreement that will spur economic growth and development, promote innovation, benefit our consumers, and support the creation and retention of jobs, high living standards and the reduction of poverty in our countries and the broader Asia-Pacific region,” the Minister says, adding the NZ is looking forward to working with Mexico to conclude a comprehensive and balanced package, taking into account the diversity of the levels of development.

Step towards free trade area

According to the NZ-US Council,  this is another step towards achieving precisely what was first envisioned – a free trade area of Asia and the Pacific.

“This is good news for businesses which need to operate more effectively and seamlessly in the region,” says NZUS Council executive director Stephen Jacobi.

“Mexico is a steadily growing market for our products, with enormous potential for New Zealand exporters. A successful outcome to the TPP negotiations will also allow New Zealand to leverage the potential in the education and research relationships we have with Mexico.”

Mexico’s entry will make New Zealand’s competitive position in Mexico the same as the NAFTA partners, USA and Canada.

New Zealand exports to the market in 2011 were worth $414.8 million and it was our 25th largest export market. Meat and dairy are the top New Zealand exports to Mexico, with dairy accounting for 62 percent.

Jacobi says that the NZUS Council is pleased to note Mexico is joining the TPP n the same terms as those already taking part in the negotiations. This means these economies share the aspiration for an ambitious and comprehenisve 21st century agreement.

“If the momentum started by Mexico leads to a Free Trade Area of Asia and the Pacific, we would see New Zealand lift its exports by 8.5 percent above 2025 baseline levels and welfare gains to New Zealand lift by 1.35 percent of GDP.

“We look forward to Japan and Canada joining the negotiations, once both economies are confident they can meet the high ambition of TPP and consultations are complete,” says Jacobi.

ACCORDING TO NZUSC: TPP is an existing trade agreement between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore, which Australia, Malaysia, Peru, the US and Vietnam wish to join. Eleven rounds of negotiations have been held involving the nine partners. The economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) account for over 70 percent of New Zealand’s total merchandise trade. Trade with APEC economies has been growing at an average of 4.5 percent per annum over the last 20 years. The TPP could add around $2,.1 billion to the New Zealand economy by 2025, according to research undertaken by the East-West Center in Honolulu.

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