Trade Update - February 2013

  • Date Added: 25 Feb 2013 from BusinessNZ

  • Since my last update, the major trade policy development has been President Obama’s State of the Union address. In this, President Obama re-stated the US intention to have TPP concluded this year, but also to launch and conclude a trade and investment agreement with the EU (The Trans-Atlantic Partnership) within the same time frame.

    Readers will know that there is much to be done still to complete TPP. Having this re-statement of support and pressure for early conclusion of negotiations is important and positive, but we wait to see more progress in the negotiations before putting the champagne on ice. 

    On Europe, one might well ask whether this negotiation will be positive or negative for New Zealand.  At one level it could be seen as negative as we have no FTA with the EU and the US having one could undercut our access to that important market.

    However, if the US really does manage to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with the EU, this will fundamentally change the nature of the EU agriculture regime and this can only be positive for New Zealand. It could also remove obstacles to our own negotiations with Europe. We should be watching this space closely. There are risks, but if the US is true to its word, the outcome could be very helpful long term.

    By Catherine Beard, ExportNZ