Free trade boost for Kiwi agribusinesses

New Zealand kiwifruit, beef and wine producers will benefit most from the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, along with smaller agribusinesses such as those producing mussels and cherries, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.

As Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today, the CPTPP will enter into force for New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, and Singapore on 30 December now six nations have ratified the trade pact.

“The CPTPP will, for the first time, provide us with preferential access to the world’s third largest economy Japan, as well as fellow G20 members Canada and Mexico,” Damien O’Connor said.

“It places our primary sectors on equal footing with exporters from other countries with lower tariffs in these markets.

“Kiwifruit growers in particular will be $26 million better off as tariffs disappear on produce to their biggest market, Japan. This will level the playing field with Chile, which has duty free access.

“The CPTPP will also immediately remove Australian beef exporters’ current tariff advantage over New Zealand in the Japanese market. This has been costing our red meat sector millions in potential revenue.

“New Zealand small and medium agribusinesses will also be better off.

“Our wine producers will gain immediate duty-free access to Canada, our fourth largest wine market; the removal of the buttercup squash tariff into Japan is expected to save a total of $1.5 million a year; with a further $19,500 a year in tariff savings for each of the 90 commercial growers of onions exporting to Japan.

“CPTPP will also provide improved access into Mexico, including eliminating tariffs for mussels and cherries and phasing out tariffs on beef, apples and wine.

“Exporters now have the opportunity to diversify the range of products they supply and focus on producing higher-value products that see our farmers and growers get more from what they do now.

“This supports thriving, sustainable regions that drive productive economic growth to the benefit of all New Zealanders,” Damien O’Connor said.