New Zealand dairy processors are rejecting new Canadian proposals for the administration of its dairy tariff rate quotas (TRQs) under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Dairy Companies Association of NZ (DCANZ) executive director Kimberly Crewther says the focus must be in the areas of trade, food safety, biosecurity and climate.
She says they strongly support NZ having a broad and ambitious trade strategy that creates opportunities for exporters to grow the value of their trade. She says this means continuing to engage with trading partners after free trade agreements (FTAs) are in place to ensure the agreements deliver on their intent.
Crewther says it includes making good use of the working mechanisms under the agreements to advance resolution of non-tariff barriers to trade and where these aren't part of th FTA utilising other review mechanisms to complete tariff elimination.
DCANZ says they also want new doors opened into markets which are currently not covered by FTAs.
According to Crewther, NZ is far from "peak FTA".
"There are obvious gaps in its bilateral and regional trade agreement coverage in relation to Middle East and Africa, South Asia, and the US. Working towards new high-quality agreements with these geographies will be of significant benefit to the economy," she says.
Crewther says growing NZ's relationship with India is strategically important. She says it's important to 'future proof' NZ's trade by continuing to invest in evolving the global rules-based system. She points out that the OECD recently highlighted that agricultural subsidy payments have reached $851 billion globally and the majority remains market distorting, with negative price outcomes for unsubsidised producers and for the environment.
"The work that MFAT and MPI officials are undertaking to seek new subsidy disciplines is important to us. It is also important that the NZ government works to ensure sustainability comparisons produced by inter-governmental bodies, like the FAO, to provide a fair reflection of our performance," she says.
On the home front, DCANZ wants the incoming government to resolve impediments to exports arising from our own domestic policy settings. Crewther says DCANZ has been seeking alleviation of the trade barrier imposed upon our exporters by NZ's own requirement for an exemption to export a product which does not fully adhere to this country's Food Code requirements. She says this even though the product does meet the legal requirements of the importing country or international Codex standards.