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TPP A Boon For New Zealand's Food Industries: McClay

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

04 April 2016

New Zealand's Government has said that the country's fishing and seafood industry will see "very significant" benefits from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal.

Trade Minister Todd McClay said in an address to the Nelson Chamber of Commerce that he believes the agreement will enable the industry to double its exports to NZD1bn (USD690m), after tariffs are repealed.

"Last year, we exported NZD581m in fish and seafood into TPP countries. Once all duties are eliminated the savings will be NZD9m every year," McClay said.

While most of New Zealand's fish exports to the United States and Canada are already duty free, exports to other markets among TPP countries are not.

"Japan is particularly significant. We currently export NZD179m into that market and all of the product attracts tariffs. When TPP enters into force, 58 percent of those duties will disappear. 95 percent will be eliminated within five years and 99 percent in 11 years," McClay said.

"Mexico is also worthy of note. New Zealand mussels currently attract a 20 percent tariff into that country. That tariff is eliminated the minute TPP comes into force," the Trade Minister added.

In an address to the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, McClay said that the country's meat industry also stands to gain.

"Our beef into Japan currently attracts a 38.5 percent tariff. That has made it extraordinarily hard for our exporters to compete with other countries with lower tariffs," the Minister said. "However the good news is that, under TPP, that tariff will reduce down to nine percent over 16 years – the lowest tariff in any free trade agreement (FTA) Japan has ever allowed on beef."

"Tariffs will also be eliminated on beef into Canada within six years, and into Mexico and Peru within 10 and 11 years respectively," McClay said. He added that "the tariffs on most sheepmeat into TPP countries will be gone immediately and all tariffs will be eliminated within eight years."

The agreement also eliminates all tariffs on beef into the country's biggest market, the United States, within five years of coming into force.

"Our meat exporters will save NZD43m every year as soon as TPP enters into force, and will save NZD84m every year when TPP is fully implemented," McClay said.

New Zealand exported meat products worth over NZD2.8bn to TPP countries in 2015, according to McClay.

TAGS: tax | free trade agreement (FTA) | export duty | tariffs | Mexico | food | Canada | New Zealand | Peru | United States | import duty | trade | Japan

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