Labour failing Kiwi exporters

Kiwi exporters will miss out while Australians get ahead after their Government signed a free trade agreement with India, National’s Trade and Export Growth Spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“India and Australia have just signed a free trade agreement that would give 85 per cent of Australia’s exports tariff-free access to the Indian market, including lamb and wool, with wines and certain fruits having lower tariffs.

“Meanwhile, the New Zealand Government has made zero progress on a trade agreement with India, making Kiwis the poor cousins to Australia yet again.

“Our wine industry has to pay a 150 per cent tariff to get into India, while Australians now only pay 50 per cent. New Zealand’s lamb exporters currently pay 30 per cent to sell in India, and Australia now pays nothing.

“India is one of the world’s largest economies and New Zealand’s second-largest trading partner without a free trade agreement.

“Yet this Labour Government has paid next to no attention to India over the last four years and now appears to have thrown in the towel. 

“Trade Minister Damien O’Connor will say that Covid has put a halt on any negotiations, but Australia has managed to finalise their agreement during the peak of the pandemic. There is no excuse.

“The Minister needs to get his act together and fly to India to get the job done for our exporters.”