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NZUS Council Welcomes Increased Cooperation With New US Administration

The NZUS Council Executive Director Jordan Small said recent positive discussions and cooperation on trade, the US support for IP waivers for vaccines, and the Christchurch Call show that a strong agenda is forming between the New Zealand Government and the Biden Administration.

Minister of Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai held their first meeting on 30 March to discuss trade.

"The positive report on those discussions reflects that New Zealand and the United States have extensive common ground and that new trade agreements can be a force for good for workers, gender rights, the environment and small business," Mr Small said.

"It was also good to see the Minister giving New Zealand's support for the U.S. announcement seeking a waiver to IP protections on vaccines. This is a further sign of the positive state of the relationship."

Minister O’Connor and Ambassador Tai’s most recent discussions came ahead of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting to be held on June 5, 2021, and follows an earlier call between Ambassador Tai and Minister O’Connor where they discussed the importance of the US-New Zealand trade and investment relationship.

Mr Small says Trade Minister Damien O’Connor’s meetings follow comments made by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to a business audience last week that her Government will actively pursue an enhanced trade relationship with the United States during this term.

"The Prime Minister’s comments underscored New Zealand’s deepening partnership with the Biden administration across a range of issues including climate change and the Christchurch Call.

"The NZUS Council believes there is significant two-way trade growth potential for the US and New Zealand which will help New Zealand achieve the Government’s call for export market diversification and will support New Zealand’s recovery from the pandemic," Mr Small says.

The U.S. is already our 3rd largest individual market ($17.6B), characterised increasingly by high value goods and services delivering high-paying jobs. Trade data show that in many of New Zealand’s highest value sectors the US is the number one or number two market after Australia.

The NZUS Council is a New Zealand organisation, established in 2001, focused on advancing New Zealand’s interests in a stronger relationship with the US.

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