Government leaves Kiwi exporters behind again

The Labour Government has left Kiwi exporters further disadvantaged as the United Kingdom and India are set to announce a trade agreement, National’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“A Free Trade Agreement like this is a slap in the face to Kiwi exporters, who continue to operate with one hand tied behind their back in the Indian market.

“This comes just two months after Australia signed their Free Trade Agreement with India, allowing tariff-free exports of lamb and baby formula, with significant reductions on other products. Kiwi wine exporters continue to face a 150 per cent tariff on exports to India, while the Aussies will now pay a fraction of this.

“Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said previously that an FTA with India was ‘not a realistic short-term prospect’ because they were focusing on the UK. Clearly, the UK has learnt how to do two things at once because while we were only talking to them, they were negotiating a high-quality deal with India at the same time.

“This deal means our exporters will continue to lose out. Our exports to India, which totalled almost half-a-billion dollars last year, will now be undercut by the UK and Australia trade deals. The Government is making it harder for Kiwi businesses to sell around the world.

“Damien O’Connor needs to stop making excuses, get on a plane to India, and secure a deal for Kiwis.”