New Zealand red meat sector welcomes TPP ratification

Hon Todd McClay, New Zealand Minister for Trade

The red meat sector welcomes the completion of New Zealand’s domestic steps to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

The New Zealand Cabinet announced today that it has decided to ratify the TPP, a move which shows leadership with Japan, notes trade minister Todd McClay.

“Cabinet’s decision sends a clear message that we see value in a common set of high-quality rules across the Asia-Pacific and we are keeping all of our options,” open.

“TPP remains valuable both economically and strategically. It stands to improve access for New Zealand exporters and lower tariffs around the Asia-Pacific, including Japan, the world’s third largest economy.

Ratification comes ahead of the APEC Trade Minister’s meeting in Vietnam later this month where McClay will co-chair a separate meeting of TPP ministers.

“Following the US withdrawal from TPP, our export sector and business community sent a clear message to find a way forward for this valuable agreement and that’s what we have been working hard to do,” says McClay, adding that alternative options for TPP are also being actively explored.

It makes complete sense that the New Zealand Government has continued with the process of ratifying TPP, which other key TPP members have also done such as Japan, says Sam McIvor, B+LNZ Ltd chief executive.

This positions New Zealand well to take a leadership role in the continued discussions about the future of TPP, he says.

While the red meat sector would ideally like to see a TPP Agreement that includes the US, there is also considerable value for the sector from the implementation of the agreement without the US, says Tim Ritchie, MIA chief executive.

“Japan, in particular, is a key beef market where tariffs remain very high and we need to regain a level playing field with key competitors.  The industry also has strong interests in markets like Canada and Mexico.

“We, therefore, also support the Government’s continued efforts to explore options to realise the benefits of the TPP,” says Ritchie.

Strong supporter of the TPP, the NZ-US Council sees its ratification as an expression of support for the concepts embodied in the TPP and a sign of New Zealand’s desire to enter into a free trade agreement with the US in due course, says executive director Fiona Cooper.

The news comes as New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English prepare to head off to Japan for trade talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a few days.

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