UK-New Zealand trade pact ‘expected in days’ affecting meat, wine and jobs Business News

The UK is set to sign a trade deal with New Zealand which is expected to mirror Britain’s controversial deal with Australia on agricultural imports, The independent can reveal.

Two people familiar with the negotiations expect an agreement in principle, which is a commitment made before a trade pact is signed, to land next week.

There are final hurdles to overcome in sensitive areas such as the phasing out of certain quotas and tariffs on imports of meat and dairy products, according to another insider from the Commerce Department. But these will likely be addressed in phone calls scheduled for the next two days, they said.

Invitations to the newspaper were also sent to some key business and advisory groups for briefings on Tuesday afternoon to discuss details of a deal. These invitations, seen by The independent, say the sessions will provide an update on the pact “which is expected to be concluded and announced imminently”.

The language is similar to the invitations sent to business groups when the announcement of the Australia deal was made, but although the deal was agreed upon by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his counterpart Scott Morrison in person, the choreography of ‘an ad will be different this time. . Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, is not expected to come to the UK before the UN Climate Summit Cop26 in Glasgow this fall, at the earliest.

Still, a person familiar with the talks said she was optimistic that some remaining issues would be ironed out “in the next few days,” even if an official announcement is made later.

A spokesperson for the Commerce Department said talks are underway, but “we won’t sacrifice quality for speed.”

“Both sides are committed to achieving a high-quality free trade agreement that will be a win-win for both countries. The negotiating teams have stepped up talks to reach an agreement in principle and are making great progress, but we will only sign a deal if it is good for UK businesses and consumers, ”the spokesperson added.

New Zealand’s economy is relatively small and a trade deal is unlikely to have a significant impact on UK GDP. Total trade in goods and services between the two countries amounted to £ 2.3 billion last year, according to the UK government.

However, as a wealthy English-speaking country with strong historical ties to the UK, there are a range of service industries that could benefit from the deal. Legal professionals are among those who hope to gain better market access, thanks to an agreement making it easier for them to practice in their respective countries.

Labor mobility has been a sticking point in the talks due to the New Zealand government’s tough stance on border controls in response to the pandemic. The calculations used to determine the country’s visa arrangements for Britons have been called into question as the border has effectively been closed to most travelers and it is not expected to be reopened until 2022.

Still, those familiar with the talks are optimistic that a trade deal would open up business travel by reducing paperwork, in non-pandemic times, for professionals to fly to meetings.

Agriculture is expected to prove to be the most controversial aspect of the deal, following the controversy surrounding the deal with Australia. This deal with New Zealand is expected to mirror that of Canberra, largely lifting quotas and tariffs on meat imports over the next decade.

Reducing tariffs may not always make goods cheaper for consumers, but it can make a market more attractive to exporters. The British government said last week that British products such as chocolate, gin and clothing could benefit from a 10 percent reduction in import duties in New Zealand, as part of a deal.

Meanwhile, New Zealand wine exporters could see tariffs equivalent to 20 pence a bottle removed in the UK. However, retailers and suppliers may well absorb such a reduction in the face of growing global cost pressure in sectors such as shipping.

More important than the bilateral agreement between London and Wellington is the need to maintain New Zealand’s support for the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The strong trading block of 11 countries includes Australia and New Zealand. Joining the trade group is a key part of the UK’s efforts to diversify its business activity outside the EU after Brexit.

Joining the trade group is also part of a larger UK security and defense effort to “tilt” toward Asia-Pacific amid growing concern over China’s geopolitical role.

According to economists, the benefits of CPTPP membership are likely to be long term rather than short term. So far, official modeling, which relies on historical data, has suggested an immediate negligible impact of a less than 1% increase in GDP resulting from membership in the bloc.

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This notice was published: 2021-08-27 15:18:50

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