The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement

19 Apr 2016

Today HortNZ Manager Richard Palmer and I appeared before the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence Committee and spoke on the value of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to New Zealand horticulture. 

We spoke in support of the TPPA, particularly given the tariffs to be eliminated that will level the field for our exports. HortNZ has written articles, engaged in discussion with growers, and met with industry leaders to develop our view on the TPPA. 

We represent 5,500 commercial fruit and vegetable growers - our industry is a $5 billion industry and the fourth largest export industry. We export just over half of what we grow, so trade agreements are crucial to the growth of this industry. 

HortNZ supports the TPPA for the following reasons:

- Tariff eliminations and reductions worth $34 million.

- Improved market access to the TPPA signatories – one of the most difficult tasks is getting access into new markets and meeting the requirements for import. 

- Levelling the competition with the TPPA signatories because the TPPA will remove trade and market access barriers.  This will result in the more efficient producers getting the most benefit.  NZ horticulture is an efficient and sustainable producer.  This will help counter-balance the cost of shipping our produce and our higher production costs. 

I recently read the US-based Peterson Institute for International Economics assessment of the benefit from TPPA for NZ and the other signatories.  The Peterson Institute assesses that the TPPA will increase annual real incomes in New Zealand by $US6 billion, which is 2.2% of our gross domestic product (GDP). The TPPA will increase our annual exports by $US9 billion or 10.2% of our exports over baseline projections by 2030.  This is because the TPPA will eliminate 75% of tariffs when it comes into force and 99% of tariffs when it is fully in force. 

We continue to engage with officials and other sectors on trade agreements and as always I welcome your views, or questions on TPPA.

 

- Mike Chapman, HortNZ CEO