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TPP reduces non-tariff trade barriers

Hon Todd McClay
Minister of Trade
16 March 2016

TPP reduces non-tariff trade barriers

Trade Minister Todd McClay says the government is looking closely at non-tariff barriers (NTBs) as part of its strategy to boost exports and grow the economy.
Addressing the Southland Chamber of Commerce in Invercargill where he is on a regional visit discussing TPP, he said he had taken note of comments by the Wood Products Council on exporters’ difficulties around NTBs.

“These are often not directly visible and can be hard to quantify. But we take the issue seriously and are investing considerable resources to address these barriers.

“In the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) we recognised the trade distorting role they play in reducing access for New Zealand exporters.

“TPP will establish a framework to ensure our trading partners are resolving issues facing New Zealand exporters.

“Southland has a strong reputation for food processing and exporting, with the presence of large-scale meat, fish and dairy processing plants and high agricultural productivity,” says Mr McClay.

“Under TPP, the enhanced customs commitments in the TPP region will benefit exporters through increased efficiency at the border and expedited release of goods. This should lead to a lower cost of trade, and simplified customs procedures for traders.

“This is of particular relevance to fresh seafood exports such as mussels and oysters from the Southland region that rely on smooth customs processes to get their produce to market quickly.

“There is no denying tariff reductions in TPP are valuable to our exporters, but equally, so is the removal of NTBs,” says Mr McClay.

Research commissioned by the government concluded that the reduction of NTBs under TPP would have a significant impact on trade flows, and hence significant economic gains for New Zealand. The result of the TPP outcome on NTBs alone is expected to produce an economic benefit of NZ$1.46 billion additional GDP by 2030.

“New Zealand uses a range of tools to address NTBs. In many cases, direct engagement with our trading partners can address industry concerns.

“The BGA Export Ministers have been exploring ways to better engage with industry to identify the barriers which are most concerning to them.

“I look forward to reading the WoodCo report and discussing it with the forestry industry,” says Mr McClay.


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