National’s Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson Todd McClay has welcomed the formal launch of NZ-EU FTA negotiations and says its success will be judged on greatly improved access for our agricultural exporters to the EU market.

“The European Union market offers huge opportunities for Kiwi exporters. As many of our competitors have entered into free trade agreements with the EU our ability to compete there, and to sell to its 500 million consumers, has reduced.

“That must be addressed and the Government must pull out all the stops to get a high quality deal done as quickly as possible.

“It is also important that this is a modern, fair and inclusive trade deal. To be inclusive smaller businesses and service providers must benefit from better trade rules while dairy, beef and lamb exporters must get a much better deal than they currently have.

“Many years of work have led to today’s launch of negotiations and there is significant expectation from New Zealand exporters that the Government will deliver tangible benefits from this negotiation.

“Both the Prime Minister and the Trade Minister need to reinforce New Zealand’s commitment to a FTA with the EU, and ensure a high quality deal is produced for New Zealand and New Zealand exporters.”

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