Deal will make a dif­fer­ence to us

Matamata Chronicle - - Conversations - LIND­SAY TISCH

As a small coun­try re­ly­ing on ex­ports, New Zealand can’t get rich selling things to our­selves.

That’s why the 800 mil­lion cus­tomers in the re­cently com­pleted Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship Agree­ment will make all the dif­fer­ence.

It will build on the Gov­ern­ment’s wider plan to di­ver­sify and strengthen our econ­omy, sup­port more jobs, and pro­vide more op­por­tu­ni­ties for Ki­wis to get ahead.

As the largest econ­omy in the world, the United States is re­spon­si­ble for over a quar­ter of all house­hold con­sump­tion in the world. Ja­pan is the third largest econ­omy and TPP in­cludes both of them. New Zealand has been try­ing to get free trade agree­ments with these two coun­tries for 25 years.

The 12 coun­tries in­volved in TPP ac­count for 36 per cent of the world econ­omy. Last year, New Zealand sold $28 bil­lion worth of goods and ser­vices to the other 11 coun­tries in TPP. With these num­bers in mind, it’s no sur­prise TPP is New Zealand’s big­gest ever trade deal.

TPP will save New Zealand ex­porters around $259 mil­lion a year in tar­iffs they cur­rently have to pay just to get their prod­ucts into these mar­kets.

That’s money they can now spend grow­ing their busi­nesses, and em­ploy­ing more New Zealan­ders on higher wages.

Take the New Zealand dairy in­dus­try for ex­am­ple. This deal will save them $102 mil­lion on the $4.6 bil­lion worth of prod­ucts ex­ported to TPP coun­tries.

Another in­dus­try set to ben­e­fit is New Zealand meat – $2.3 bil­lion worth is sold to TPP coun­tries and this agree­ment will save us around $72 mil­lion in tar­iffs.

Tar­iff sav­ings are just the start of the ben­e­fits this trade agree­ment of­fers to New Zealand. Bar­ri­ers to ac­cess are of­ten even more im­por­tant to ex­porters. Elim­i­nat­ing these bar­ri­ers will un­lock enor­mous op­por­tu­ni­ties.

All this is ex­pected to be worth at least $2.7 bil­lion a year to New Zealand by 2030. We know from the free trade deal with China these fig­ures are likely to be un­der­es­ti­mated. Two-way trade with China ex­ploded af­ter that deal was signed.

Now TPP ne­go­ti­a­tions have con­cluded peo­ple will see many of the con­cerns raised pre­vi­ously have not been re­flected in the agree­ment.

To touch on a few of these con­cerns we have not given up our right to gov­ern our own coun­try and New Zealan­ders will not pay more for medicines.

CLAR­I­FI­CA­TIONS

An ar­ti­cle on Oc­to­ber 7 touched on a re­cent pe­ti­tion. Read­ers may have been led to be­lieve that the pe­ti­tion sought to re­strict the move­ments of all heavy truck traf­fic in and around Mata­mata. Pe­ti­tion or­gan­iser Alan Dowl­ing feels this is com­pletely wrong. The pe­ti­tion stip­u­lated the ex­clu­sion of ‘lo­cal’ traf­fic which would in­clude trucks ser­vic­ing Mata­mata busi­nesses or those us­ing lo­cal fa­cil­i­ties (i.e. overnight stay in mo­tels).

He says the pro­posed re­stricted area for trucks in­volved only part of Broad­way thus ‘lo­cal’ trucks could, within rea­son, carry on as usual. En­try and exit would still re­main at ei­ther end of town. The pe­ti­tion was aimed solely at those trucks mov­ing di­rectly through town (es­ti­mated to be about 600).

The num­ber for plac­ing com­plaints with the NZ Trans­port Agency was also wrong, it should have read 0800 4High­ways.

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