The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) says the case for regional (and other) trade deals remains very strong, regardless of the recent decision by the US to withdraw from the TPP agreement. DCANZ emphasises the importance of New Zealand continuing to prioritise regional and global agreements within an ambitious agenda for trade liberalisation.
“The link between trade and the prosperity of nations is well established and strong” says DCANZ Chairman Malcolm Bailey. “By expanding market opportunities, trade creates jobs, promotes resource use efficiency, and better positions economies to invest in infrastructure, education and social services. Agricultural trade supports food security and geopolitical stability”.
The TPP agreement includes some useful, but limited, steps in dairy market liberalisation, and some significant steps in liberalising trade for a range of other goods and services. The deal was concluded on the basis that it would have lifted economic development for each participant and for the region as a whole.
“The US withdrawing from TPP is a lost opportunity to alleviate some of the distortions in dairy markets” says Bailey. “However, this scenario has been signalled for some time and comes ahead of implementation, meaning it is unlikely to result in any disruption to current trade”.
DCANZ hopes that the proven benefits of trade will bring the US back to the regional trade table in the future. Meanwhile, DCANZ supports the New Zealand Government in continuing to progress an ambitious trade agenda via the WTO, with the remaining TPP signatories, and through the proposed EU, UK, India, RCEP, GCC, Sri Lanka and China (FTA upgrade) agreements.
“We are pleased to hear that Prime Minister Bill English, and Trade Minister Todd McClay, have had useful meetings with counterparts from a range of other markets in recent weeks” says Bailey. “We also welcome their stated commitment to building a positive relationship with the new US administration”.