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FTA prospect with US celebrated

September 23

FTA prospect with US celebrated

The prospect of a free-trade deal with the US, under P4, is some of the best news exporters could be hoping for, says Business NZ.

Chief executive Phil O’Reilly says he welcomes the decision by the US to join negotiations for a comprehensive trade deal with the P4 countries -- New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and Brunei.

“There are lots of knotty issues we’ll need to work through but the fact the US has said yes to negotiations is a positive indication of their intentions and some of the best news exporters could hope for.”

Mr O’Reilly says the announcement today is a story of New Zealand Inc working together.

“As well as determined and bipartisan political lobbying, this is also the result of a sustained campaign by the private sector to bring New Zealand and the United States to the negotiating table.

“Business NZ has been working hard with our sister organisation in the United States – the National Association of Manufacturers – to ensure that a NZ-US trade deal remained firmly on the political radar. We both see P4 as an excellent basis for future trade liberalisation in the Asia-Pacific.

The National Association of Manufacturers says in a statement today the negotiations are an opportunity for the US to increase its engagement with New Zealand and Brunei as part of an overall effort to bolster its competitiveness in the Asian region.

Mr O’Reilly acknowledges there’s still a long way to go in the process and says New Zealand businesses will be looking for a high quality trade deal with the country’s second largest trading partner.

“Exporters have faced tough times in recent months. But the trade policy
hat-trick announced this year – the China, ASEAN and now a potential US FTA – holds open the hope of significant growth in future.”

Business NZ’s recent election survey of 2000 businesses found that 86 per cent of New Zealand businesses fully support working to achieve an FTA with the US.

“This is fantastic news for exporters and the communities they serve.”

ENDS


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