Modernising our trade policy with Trade for All: have your say

This Government is today launching its Trade for All agenda and inviting New Zealanders to have their say on what matters to them on trade policy and in trade agreements. 

Trade policy is integral to the Government’s moves to modernise our economy and support businesses and exporters in the face of economic headwinds internationally. 

“Trade is crucial to this country’s well-being and we want the benefits to flow to all New Zealanders, which is why we are pursuing our Trade for All agenda,” Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker said. 

“We want those benefits to be felt throughout the country, not just in the major cities. We want benefits to flow to our farmers and farm workers, to tech entrepreneurs and those who code the software,” David Parker said.   

“We want small and medium sized businesses, women and Maori – who haven’t always benefited as much as big business from trade deals - to succeed on the global stage. At the same time we want to protect our unique environment and get the best out of our existing and future trade deals.” 

New Zealand is a trade-dependent nation with little power. More than 620,000 people rely on exports for their livelihood. The main challenges internationally are rising protectionism threatening the rules-based trading system and discontent with globalisation.  

“The key questions we need to answer is how we set trade policy to meet those challenges while ensuring all our people and all businesses benefit.” 

The Government already has a broad agenda of trade deals in the pipeline.  

The CPTPP is set to come into effect around the end of the year, and talks are in train with the EU, the Pacific Alliance, and in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Upgrades to existing trade deals are underway with China and Singapore and preliminary steps towards trade talks with the UK have been taken, pending Brexit. The Bill to bring into effect Pacer Plus – a trade deal with our Pacific neighbours – is before the House. 

We have also made progress on bilateral issues with the US. President Trump last week signed into law the KIWI Act, giving businesses easier visa access to the US. Trade and Investment Framework Agreement talks, which went into abeyance when the US was part of TPP, have been resumed with the US.  

David Parker said the Government wants to hear people’s views on how trade policy can help our businesses succeed on the world stage, how it can grow the regions in general and the Māori economy in particular while promoting the rights of indigenous people and increasing women’s participation in the trade sector.” 

The “Have Your Say on Trade for All” website opens today where people can find more information and give their views. 

Public meetings and hui will be held throughout the country from mid-August to mid-October. 

“I’m also announcing today the establishment of a Trade for All Advisory Board that will start work shortly. It will bring together experts with a wide range of views, knowledge and experience to make their recommendations on progressive, sustainable and inclusive trade policy.” 

The Board will be chaired by trade expert David Pine who brings extensive experience in the private and public sectors. The membership of the board will be announced in due course. 

The views of New Zealanders and the Trade for All Advisory Board’s recommendations will feed into the development of Trade for All policy by June 2019.

 Public views can be input at www.haveyoursay.mfat.govt.nz and more information about free trade agreements and trade policy is at www.mfat.govt.nz/en/trade/