31 January 2021 The UK’s decision to apply to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a welcome move, but any new member must be prepared to commit to allowing high quality access to their market, says New Zealand’s red meat sector.
“It is great to see the UK taking this step and supporting open global markets,” says Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of the Meat Industry Association.
“It is a valuable and important signal at a time of turbulence in world trade including rising protectionism. It is also strong affirmation of the central role that trade liberalisation can play in rebuilding economies and revitalising economic growth after the impact of COVID-19.
“However, entry to CPTPP is also an agreement to an ambitious, comprehensive and high quality outcome, including on red meat and other agriculture products. We expect the UK to approach the negotiations on that basis and in that spirit. Likewise, we expect the UK to deliver the same ambitious outcomes in our bilateral Free Trade Agreement negotiations.”
Sam McIvor, chief executive of Beef + Lamb NZ, says that before moving forward with any new negotiations, the UK must urgently resolve the issue of splitting New Zealand’s World Trade Organization Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs).
“The UK’s choice, alongside the European Union, to split the TRQs compromises the quality of New Zealand’s access to those markets. It sends the wrong signal about the UK's commitment to the global rules-based trading system and open markets. We expect the UK to work constructively and urgently to find a solution that does not leave us worse off.”