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Red meat sector welcomes CPTPP ratification

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The red meat sector welcomes the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

New Zealand is now the fourth country to complete its domestic ratification process along with Mexico, Singapore, and Japan. The agreement requires at least six of the eleven member countries to ratify the agreement before it can come into force. Consequently, we strongly encourage the remaining member countries to do so before the end of this year.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s (B+LNZ) Chief Executive Sam McIvor says once the CPTPP comes into force it will be one of the largest free trade agreements in the world and will present massive opportunities for the New Zealand sheep and beef sector given our export focus. New Zealand’s sheep and beef sector exports approximately 90 per cent of its production, totalling $9.3 billion for the 2017/18 season (including wool and co-products).

"Our sector pays over $230 million in tariffs - with a significant proportion of those tariffs applied on New Zealand beef exports to Japan. Once the CPTPP is fully implemented, it is expected to save the sector approximately $63 million in tariffs," says Mr McIvor.

"In the absence of the CPTPP, we have been losing significant market share in countries where our competitors have preferential access - particularly Australia’s beef access into Japan. The CPTPP will immediately put New Zealand’s red meat sector on a level playing field.

"Australia’s beef exports to Japan have increased by a cumulative $1 billion since its free trade agreement came into force, which has resulted in New Zealand losing out on approximately $53 million worth of beef exports to Japan over the same period."

The CPTPP will also prevent Japan from imposing a safeguard tariff on New Zealand beef like they did last year on frozen beef raising the tariff to 50 per cent.

The agreement will give New Zealand a competitive advantage over the United States beef industry, which will continue to face either the 38.5 per cent tariff or the higher 50 per cent tariff if the safeguards are triggered again. The US was part of the original Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement but withdrew in 2017 requiring the remaining members to negotiate and agree the CPTPP.

Meat Industry Association (MIA) Chief Executive Tim Ritchie says the CPTPP isn’t just about cutting tariffs.

"The agreement also contains ways to address complex non-tariff barriers, which are often costlier than tariffs and more difficult to quantify. This will prove useful in terms of opening markets and ensuring that they stay open," says Mr Ritchie.

"In the face of growing protectionism around the world, the CPTPP highlights the importance of trade liberalisation and strengthens the architecture of international trade rules which is of real importance to small trading nation like New Zealand.

"It will be positive for exports and help raise the living standards of New Zealanders. Red meat sector exports directly support 80,000 jobs (and families) employed across New Zealand, mostly in the regions."

The sector acknowledges the work the government has done to conclude the CPTPP and its expeditious ratification, and recognises the work done by previous governments and officials on its predecessor, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. We continue to support the government’s work in trade liberalisation and look forward to the entry into force of the CPTPP.

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