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The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on.

“TPP11 ministers have committed to moving forward with the agreement as quickly as possible,” Mr McClay says.

“During a Ministerial meeting co-chaired by New Zealand in May, all countries agreed to present a proposal to TPP leaders by November this year, when they meet in Vietnam as part of the APEC leaders week.”

Mr McClay says that trade officials from the 11 countries met in Japan last month and made good progress, with Australia confirming that they will host the next officials meeting in September.  New Zealand has also been asked to again co-chair a TPP11 Ministerial meeting in Vietnam in November.

“It is imperative to the competitiveness of our businesses in these important markets that New Zealand continues to show leadership along with Japan and Australia on TPP11,” Mr McClay says.

“Japan has just concluded a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union which gives better access to European exporters than we currently have. Japan has also just announced it will apply a 50 per cent tariff on all frozen beef imports from countries it doesn’t have an FTA with.”

“This is exactly why the National-led Government is committed to TPP11. It will mean tariffs on New Zealand beef exports to Japan will reduce from 50 per cent to 9 per cent. TPP11 also removes all tariffs on wood products and means we can compete fairly in other goods and services exports.”             

“Independent economic modelling shows TPP11 could add $2.5 billion annually to our economy and eliminate costly tariffs - saving New Zealand companies $222 million each year. This is something that we cannot afford to turn our backs on.”

“The National-led Government remains ambitious for New Zealanders and will continue to level the export playing field through agreements like TPP11.”

TPP11 will be our first FTA with four new countries, including Japan – the world’s third largest consumer market. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will continue public and industry engagement on TPP11.

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