Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Productive Discussions with US on Trade Issues

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade


11 June 2008
Media statement

Productive Discussions with US on Trade Issues

Following discussions with key Administration and Congressional leaders in Washington over the past two days, Trade and Defence Minister Phil Goff said he was confident that New Zealand would progress towards a free trade agreement with the United States.

Phil Goff met with Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer and Deputy Secretary of Defence Gordon England, in Washington. He had extensive discussions with United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab in Arequipa, Peru and Paris.

While in Washington, he also met with key figures in Congress, including Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus and Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Charles Rangel.

He held discussions with members of the 70 strong New Zealand Caucus in Congress including co-Chairs Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher and Congressman Kevin Brady.

He also met key advisors to both Presidential campaign candidates in the areas of defence and trade and economic policy.

“Over the next five months, Washington will naturally be focussed on the 2008 Presidential elections, though the current Administration continues to press forward with its programme to free up trade.

“With the swearing in of a new Administration next January, however, I am confident that New Zealand will be well placed to seek a free trade agreement with either a Republican or a Democratic Administration,” Phil Goff said.

“Republican candidate Senator John McCain has already expressed publicly his support for an FTA with New Zealand.

“If the Democratic candidate Senator Obama is elected there may be some rethinking of the United States trade liberalisation strategy though the Senator has expressed his commitment to the broad principles of freeing up trade.

“Trade and labour, and trade and environment issues may be given greater emphasis.

“However neither should be a barrier to an FTA with New Zealand, and AFL-CIO labour movement chief John Sweeney has previously joined with other key business groups, the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Chamber of Commerce, in expressing support for a New Zealand FTA,” Phil Goff said.

“Dairy has been a potentially sensitive issue but the US dairy industry has moved from net importers to net exporters of dairy produce.

“Fonterra works as a joint venture partner with large US companies using its export marketing network to sell around half of the milk powder sold abroad by the US.

“With demand for dairy products exceeding world supply and projected to continue to do so, US diary production is under no threat from New Zealand,” Phil Goff Said

“Chairs of both key Congressional committees Senator Max Baucus and Congressman Charles Rangel have previously signed letters in support of an FTA with New Zealand.

“There is also considerable interest by the United States in the P4 FTA agreement between New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and Brunei and its potential to be a building block for a high quality regional FTA.

“New Zealand continues to work with the US to progress towards conclusion of the Doha Round of the WTO, as its first priority. However, we are also keen to move forward in parallel with bilateral or regional free trade agreements consistent with WTO principles,” Phil Goff said.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog