New Zealand: Large tariff savings through CPTPP trade deal

Overseas tariffs on New Zealand products to the amount of $220 million will be cut back or eliminated under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement. NZ Foreign Affairs and Trade’s manager for trade policy engagement John Riley and Pacific regional unit manager Tessa Te Mata spoke at Gisborne to talk about what the CPTPP means for this country and discuss other trade negotiations.

The CPTPP replaced the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which, after the US pulled out, was not ratified and did not take effect. The other 11 countries came up with a new agreement. Riley: “CPTPP is a new treaty that sits on top of, and suspends, 22 provisions of TPP. One big difference is not having the US involved. There are some things the US wanted in there that the CPTPP countries chose not to include if the US wasn’t going to be a part of it.”

As reported on gisborneherald.co.nz, the CPTPP is expected to help create higher-paying jobs and improve living standards. New Zealand kiwifruit exporters pay a 6.4 percent tariff to trading partner Japan. New Zealand’s kiwifruit competitor Chile pays nothing. Zespri estimates a saving of $26 million in the first year. From day one of the new trade agreement, New Zealand’s tariff savings will amount to $92 million. When the agreement is fully implemented, savings will amount to $220 million.

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