Fish and seafood trade could double under TPP

  • Todd McClay

The benefits to New Zealand’s fishing and seafood industry will be very significant once all tariffs are eliminated under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Trade Minister Todd McClay told a Nelson Chamber of Commerce audience that the region, the home of Australasia’s largest fishing port, that he believes the agreement will enable the industry to double its exports to one billion dollars.

“Last year, we exported $581 million in fish and seafood into TPP countries. Once all duties are eliminated the savings will be $9 million every year,” says Mr McClay. 

While most of our fish into the United States and Canada is already duty free, other markets among TPP countries are not.

“Japan is particularly significant. We currently export $179 million into that market and all of the product attracts tariffs. When TPP enters into force, 58 per cent of those duties will disappear, 95 per cent will be eliminated within five years and 99 per cent in 11 years.

“Mexico is also worthy of note. New Zealand mussels currently attract a 20 per cent tariff into that country. That tariff is eliminated the minute TPP comes into force.

“But, importantly, behind the big tariff saving numbers are rural communities and towns where increased trade means higher wages and more jobs,” says Mr McClay.