Inclusive Trade Action Group meets in Port Moresby

New Zealand, Chile and Canada today reaffirmed a commitment to work together to advance trade that benefits all their citizens. 

Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker joined Chilean Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero and Canadian Deputy Minister for International Trade Tim Sargent at a meeting of the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG) during APEC Leaders’ Week in Papua New Guinea. 

Trade is crucial to our economies but so is ensuring that the benefits that come from trade are shared by all,” David Parker said.   

“The New Zealand Government’s Trade for All agenda ensures that our trade policy delivers for all New Zealanders. 

“The meeting of ITAG members recommitted us to this goal and set out some specific objectives to advance inclusive trade in 2019, including building support among our CPTPP partners, and in the WTO and APEC.” 

It follows the three countries’ Joint Declaration on Fostering Progressive and Inclusive Trade issued at the signing of the CPTPP in March this year.    

A further Ministerial meeting of the ITAG is planned for February 2019. There is also a proposal that the Leaders of New Zealand, Chile and Canada meet next year to review progress on inclusive trade.

Ministerial Statement

Meeting of the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG)  

16 November 2018 

New Zealand, Canada and Chile met in Papua New Guinea on 16 November to advance inclusive trade as outlined in the Joint Declaration on Fostering Progressive and Inclusive Trade issued in March 2018 on the margins of the signature of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.  The Declaration reaffirms the commitment made by New Zealand, Canada, and Chile to achieving economic growth while advancing broader social and environmental objectives and ensuring that the benefits of trade and investment are widely shared.   

The three countries welcomed the forthcoming entry into force of CPTPP on 30 December this year for the first group of countries to ratify the Agreement. They renewed their commitment today to work together to ensure that the benefits of trade and investment help reduce inequality and poverty and that the effectiveness of CPTPP is examined according to progress on sustainable development, gender equality, the economic empowerment of women and Indigenous peoples, domestic regional economic development, SMEs, labour rights, protecting and conserving the environment, and addressing climate change.  

New Zealand, Canada and Chile also reaffirmed their support for the rules-based multilateral trading system and for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and  in that context reiterated the need to conclude negotiations on fisheries subsidies in 2019 consistent with instructions from WTO ministers at MC11. They have also agreed to work together to identify ways to strengthen and improve the WTO.  

Recent activities by the Inclusive Trade Action Group in support of inclusive trade included a Leaders’ Meeting on inclusive trade in the context of UNGA last September, the hosting of the World Indigenous Business Forum by New Zealand and the hosting of the Ottawa Ministerial Meeting on WTO Reform by Canada, both in October 2018.   As upcoming host of APEC, Canada and New Zealand fully endorse Chile’s year priorities through which they will together seek to play an important role in advancing inclusive trade in 2019, along with WTO reform. 

The three countries also discussed their efforts with regard to on-going engagement on the CPTPP and the future of international trade. They agreed on the importance of taking into account the views of civil society and that trade can contribute to sustainable development and solutions for global issues of concern.

 New Zealand, Canada and Chile have agreed to work to build support for specific actions in 2019 including to:   

  • share experiences and best practices in order to develop inclusive trade provisions in a context of a challenging digital economy (e.g. women’s economic empowerment, gender equality, Indigenous peoples, SMEs, labour, and the environment) and promote their use in bilateral, regional, and multilateral negotiations; 
  • work together to better understand and communicate the positive impact of trade and trade agreements on all segments of society; and
  • build a community of like-minded nations and advance the principles of inclusive trade together in multilateral forums and among CPTPP member countries, including to establish an ITAG caucus in APEC and at the WTO 

The three countries agreed to meet again at the Ministerial level in early 2019.