A&F Bulletin - Benefits of TPP for Marlborough

Columns
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement has been very well received, and so it should: It’s a fantastic opportunity for New Zealand and for Marlborough.

Trade minister Tim Groser and his team did a lot of hard work to get this across the line and they should be congratulated.

Twelve countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Japan, the US, Canada, and New Zealand, with a combined GDP of NZ$40 trillion and 800 million people in a market—we really can’t miss out on those opportunities.

Earlier this month, I spoke about the TPP in the Parliamentary general debate where I pointed out that exports to countries that we do not have a free-trade agreement with have declined by 2.6 per cent.

In contrast, with countries that we have free-trade agreements with, our trade has increased by 10 percent.

The numbers speak for themselves: By 2030 the overall benefit of the TPP to New Zealand is estimated to be at least $2.7 billion a year.

For exporters here in Marlborough - and they are many and varied - the changes under the TPPA mean less time waiting for goods to clear customs, lower compliance costs and more predictability around other countries’ processes.

The TPP will open up greater opportunities to bid for contracts in TPP countries. This means our businesses will be able to compete for government procurement contracts in TPP countries on an equal footing with domestic suppliers.

It must also be noted that the TPP includes chapters on environment and labour that will promote sustainable development and higher standards of environmental and labour protection.

This is about building a framework to back our farmers, horticulturists, wine growers, fishers and manufacturers by diversifying the economy through strong trade, investment and economic ties around the world.

It is exciting news for our red meat industry, which will enjoy unrestricted access to the US market - something farmers have been seeking for decades. Tariffs on beef exports to TPP countries will be eliminated, with only the exception of Japan.

In fact, tariffs on all other primary sector exports, except some dairy products, will be eliminated, including fruit and vegetables, sheep meat, forestry, seafood, and wine.

New Zealand Winegrowers CEO Philip Gregan says the TPP is strategically very important for the export future of the industry, particularly as TPP countries already account for over 60 per cent of New Zealand wine exports.

Philip Gregan expects the TPP will help the wine industry reach its goal of $2 billion of exports by 2020.

This is great news for the Marlborough economy: Our businesses will be able to create more jobs and deliver higher incomes by having better access to these world markets.

I look forward to seeing the great opportunities that our local export industries, and therefore our communities, will take up under the TPP.