Tuesday , April 24 2018
Informed Influential Indispensable | newzealandinc.com

NZ Dairy chiefs weigh in on TPP – ‘US protectionism stopped first-rate deal’

Fonterra chairman John Mr Wilson blames entrenched protectionism demonstrated by the US dairy industry in particular for the failure of the TPP deal on dairy failed to reach its potential.

“Dairy has been very hard to resolve and New Zealand has managed to get some progress against the odds,” Wilson says. ” Our team has done well to lift the deal from where it stood at the Ministerial meeting in Maui.

“While I am very disappointed that the deal falls far short of TPP’s original ambition to eliminate all tariffs, there will be some useful gains for New Zealand dairy exporters in key TPP markets such as the US, Canada and Japan. Greater benefits will be seen in future years as tariffs on some product lines are eliminated.

 Wilson adds that TPP has been an enormous undertaking, “While the dairy outcome is far from perfect, we appreciate the significant effort made by Trade Minister Tim Groser and his negotiators to get some gains in market access for our farmers.

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) also acknowledged the hard work that Groser and his team had put into concluding the TPP negotiations.

“It was always going to be very hard given the starting point for dairy as one of the most protected sectors globally” says DCANZ chairman Malcolm Bailey.  “While further market opening is needed to help address price volatility in the global dairy market, the deal does contain some useful improvements.”

“We thank Minister Groser and his team for the hard line they took to secure these new export opportunities for New Zealand dairy in the face of immense pressure from entrenched protectionist interests” says Bailey.

DCANZ will be undertaking a complete assessment of outcomes as fuller details of the TPP deal for dairy becomes available. 

DCANZ  is pleased that other New Zealand primary sectors will see benefits.  The good outcomes for other agricultural exports will help to demonstrate that free trade should not be feared, and by doing so create a platform for further opening of dairy markets. 

“Removal of distortions from global dairy markets remains a key priority for DCANZ” says Bailey.  “We will be looking closely at the trade policy landscape over the coming weeks, and talking to the government, to define a pathway forward.”   

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