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Exporters first to benefit as CPTPP takes effect today

New Zealand exporters are among the first to benefit from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership which takes effect today.

“The CPTPP provides New Zealand with trade agreements for the first time with three significant economies: Japan, Canada and Mexico,” Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker said.

“Tariffs in those countries will start to reduce from today. Mexico and Canada will cut tariffs again on 1 January 2019 giving a further boost to the competitiveness of New Zealand products in those markets.”

“When Viet Nam joins the Agreement on 14 January 2019, it will make an immediate double tariff cut to catch up. Japan’s second tariff cut will take place three months later on 1 April 2019,” David Parker said.

“The CPTPP has the potential to deliver an estimated $222 million of tariff savings to New Zealand exporters annually once it is fully in force, with almost half of that - or $105 million - now available in the first 12 months.

“This will benefit New Zealand workers and businesses from Kaitaia to Bluff.

“For example, one of the key exports from Northland is fisheries products. Currently our fish and fish products face tariffs of 20 per cent into Mexico for some lines, and tariffs of up to 10 per cent in Japan. The CPTPP will see all tariffs eliminated on fisheries exports, with the majority of savings from today.

“The Bay of Plenty, which accounts for 79 per cent of New Zealand’s kiwifruit production and is also our largest producer of avocados, stands to gain too with these tariffs disappearing immediately across the CPTPP region.

“Our biggest wine region, Marlborough, will benefit as all tariffs on New Zealand wine will be eliminated into CPTPP markets over time, including immediate duty free access into Canada – our fourth largest wine export market,” David Parker said.

“Mid-Canterbury farmers supply 50 per cent of the world’s radish seeds and a third of the world’s carrot seeds. They will also gain as tariffs on horticultural exports including seeds are eliminated within 15 years under CPTPP.

“The Otago region produces almost half of all New Zealand’s summer fruits. CPTPP will see total tariff elimination on summer fruits, including cherries, for which the tariffs into Japan will be eliminated within six years.

“We have also notified signatories that investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) claims challenging tobacco control measures cannot be made against New Zealand.

“This is in keeping with the Government’s view on ISDS. It is a further measure, alongside suspensions and side letters, to reduce the risk of successful ISDS cases being brought against New Zealand under CPTPP,” David Parker said.

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