Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Signs of dairy movement as TPP negotiators meet in Atlanta

Signs of movement on dairy as TPP negotiators meet in Atlanta

By Pattrick Smellie

Sept. 28 (BusinessDesk) - News media in the US and Canada are reporting signs of a deal coming together on access for dairy products into North America as trade ministers gather in Atlanta, Georgia, for the latest round of talks attempting to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade and investment pact.

The Atlanta talks are being billed as potentially the final round of talks, although New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser has yet to commit to attend them, despite being in the US this week for climate change talks in New York.

He said almost a week ago that there was still no adequate offer from the key TPP dairy-producing countries - the US, Canada and Japan. Market access for dairy products and automobiles, and patent extensions for new generation bio-logic pharmaceuticals, are reportedly the only remaining sticking points of substance between the 12 countries negotiating the new Pacific Rim agreement, which US president Barack Obama is committed to concluding as part of a strategy to assert US geopolitical interests in Asia and counter the rise of China.

Reports over the weekend suggest that the US and Canada are both preparing to move on their highly protected markets, despite protests from the dairy sector in both countries and silence on the prospect of improved access to the Japanese dairy market.

Reports in the Toronto Star, the iPolitics Canadian political website, and the Inside US Trade newsletter all point to the US signalling willingness to open its dairy market to some extent for imports from New Zealand and Australia.

The IUST daily newsletter of Sept. 25 quotes the US National Milk Producers Federation and Dairy Export Council as expressing alarm that dairy market access proposals have been developed by US officials since talks broke down in Maui in late July, without sufficiently consulting the US industry and which potentially open the US market to Canadian imports without a reciprocal ability for US dairy producers to enter the Canadian market.

"Tariff elimination on key products without reciprocal treatment by Canada would seriously undermine the US dairy economy," the two organisations said in a joint statement.

A report in the Toronto Star of Sept. 26 quoted the Canadian international trade minister, Ed Fast, as saying reports that Canada would open its dairy market to US imports were "absolutely false." CBC News had reported that Canadian negotiators were preparing to open up "a significant share" of Canada's domestic dairy market, including fluid milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt and milk powders. Fast was also reportedly heading to Atlanta for the TPP talks, saying Canada could not stay away from the negotiating table.

Dairy Farmers of Canada spokesman Isabelle Bouchard, however, appeared to accept that concessions may be prised out of Canada to allow TPP to be concluded.

The iPolitics site reported her as saying that if there were concessions granted, the "phase-in period" would be "very important".

The moves come as legal action commences in the High Court in Wellington this morning to attempt to force the New Zealand government to release copies of the negotiating texts for the TPP, which long-time free trade critic and advocate for more transparency in trade negotiations, Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey, is leading with a variety of non-government organisations that also seek greater access to the detail of trade deal proposals.

The case would set precedents by seeking "definitive interpretation of certain provisions of the Official Information Act" for the first time, said Kelsey in a statement.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Contact: Business Drops, New Generation On Hold

New Zealand’s second-largest energy company Contact Energy (‘Contact’) released its full year financial results for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 (‘FY20’) this morning. More>>

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>


Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>


NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>


Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

REINZ: Million Dollar Plus Property Sales Increase 11.7% Nationally

The number of properties sold around the country for one million dollars or more during the first half (H1) of 2020 increased by 11.7% compared to H1 2019, with 5,426 million-dollar plus properties sold (up from 4,858 in H1 2019) according to the Real ... More>>

Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>


QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>


Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>


FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>