The red meat sector, represented by Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA), welcomes the announcement today that all steps are now completed to enable the Korea-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to enter into force before the year end.
The FTA with Korea is a significant step towards reducing the overall amount of tariffs paid on New Zealand red meat exports. Tariffs of almost $323 million were paid on New Zealand red meat exports in 2014. A significant proportion of those tariffs were paid in Korea ($64 million) – where applied tariffs are 40 percent on beef.
The Korea FTA is critical for New Zealand sheep and beef farmers and meat exporters, ensuring New Zealand remains competitive in this key market.
Korea is New Zealand’s fourth-largest beef market by volume, taking nearly $123 million of beef exports last year. However, trade volumes have dropped in recent years, partly due to competitors such as the United States, and more recently Australia and Canada, having a tariff advantage through their FTAs with Korea.
New Zealand red meat exports will benefit from two rounds of tariff cuts in quick succession – the first on entry-into-force of the agreement on 20 December and a second round of cuts on 1 January 2016.
B+LNZ and the MIA work together to improve access for sheep and beef products to overseas markets, including by providing in-depth analysis in support of the Government’s FTA negotiation efforts.