Trade negotiations with Europe

Following on from the yet to be ratified Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement between twelve Pacific Rim countries comprising 40% of the world economy, trade attention has turned to Europe.

Stuff reports New Zealand and Europe inch towards free trade negotiations.

A free trade agreement (FTA) with one of the world’s largest trading blocs is a small step closer, with New Zealand and Europe to lay the groundwork for negotiations “as soon as possible”.

In a joint statement released late on Thursday night (NZ time), Prime Minister John Key, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and European Council President Donald Tusk agreed to start discussions on how to negotiate a “deep and comprehensive high-quality” trade deal.

“We believe that a FTA will support sustainable growth and investment, opening up new trade and business opportunities and generating new employment for our peoples,” the joint statement read.

In mid-October the EU Commission released its new trade and investment strategy, with New Zealand singled out as a country where it wanted to “open the door to new negotiations” for a free trade deal.

In a statement, Key said there was desire on both sides to progress a deal.

As with the TPPA this isn’t likely to be quick or simple, or without opposition.

Striking a deal may not be easy, with greater access for New Zealand’s primary products likely to be opposed by Europe’s powerful farming lobby.

When the European Commission announced its trade strategy it warned that a deal  with New Zealand would need to take into account the EU’s “agricultural sensitivities”.

‘Sensitivities’ always play a part in trade negotiations.

But it’s an important mission for New Zealand.

I hope that Labour bans their bottom line bull and gets back to cross party efforts to improve our trading terms with Europe.

Leave a comment


  1. Conspiratoor

     /  31st October 2015

    Call me a conspiracy theorist but the timing of this one is just too much of a cooincidence. Why would Europe suddenly be interested in a trade deal with NZ? I suspect there will be a quid pro quo here and that will be door open to thousands of young arabs of fighting age and a blind adherence to a death cult

  2. traveller

     /  31st October 2015

    I bet every left wing activist is hoping for a loss for the ABs on Sunday. How they hate good news for the economy.


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