Director of Advocacy at BusinessNZ Catherine Beard said while the NZ Government and Officials were able to land some wins for exporters in the newly announced FTA with the EU, it is also a deal that falls well short of our best FTA’s in that two of our biggest goods export sectors (meat and dairy) did not get commercially meaningful outcomes.
Horticulture, wine, honey and seafood exporters will be pleased with the result, but the EU has not lived up to its mantra of being an open economy with the protectionist approach it takes to meat and dairy imports from New Zealand. This is not only to the detriment of NZ exporters from the meat and dairy sectors, but it means that EU consumers will be paying more for our high quality sustainably produced food.
We note that there is an ambitious outcome on climate action that has never been included in an FTA before, making our commitments under the Paris Agreement subject to binding dispute settlement. While that could be challenging for New Zealand, it could also be challenging for the EU, and we will be monitoring this closely.
BusinessNZ is pleased to see that services exporters will be able to compete in the EU market on a comparable basis with other EU trading partners and services exporters from other countries, including the UK and Singapore.
While we could not call this a high quality comprehensive FTA, we acknowledge the hard work our negotiators put into this deal and the difficulty they were up against with the multitude of countries that make up the European Union.