Tuesday, 16 June 2020 08:56

EU's "unacceptable" offer for NZ

Written by  Peter Burke
EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan. EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan.

A pathetic trade offer by the European Union has raised the ire of New Zealand politicians and farmer groups, which have strongly condemned the EU’s actions.

Early last week, Trade Minister David Parker revealed that the EU had leaked details of the offer to other parties before passing the information to NZ negotiators. He described both the leak and the quality of the offer as “unacceptable” and that it reflected agricultural protectionism in the EU. 

Parker noted that presently the EU exports to NZ the equivalent of one kilogram of cheese for every New Zealander, but in return the EU is offering to take a mere three grams of NZ cheese per EU citizen. 

Phil Hogan is the EU Trade Commissioner and is ultimately responsible for putting together the deal with NZ. When he was in NZ nearly 18 months ago he told Rural News that he was optimistic that a “quality” free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and NZ could be negotiated before the end of 2019.

Federated Farmers president Katie Milne described the offer as “so insulting low” that she thought they had made a mistake. 

“Thanks to this ‘leak’, we are now aware the EU intends to continue to prevent Kiwi farmers from fairly competing in the EU market, while at the same time seeking to impose absurd obligations, such as not allowing NZ farmers to call feta cheese by its generic name ‘feta’,” she says.

Milne says it’s disappointing to see the EU’s trade negotiators ignore the long-shared relationship between the EU and NZ. 

Beef+LambNZ (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association have also hit out the offer and the poor diplomacy of leaking the offer. B+LNZ’s Sam McIvor says the leaked details suggests that the EU intends to continue to promote agricultural protectionism. 

MIA’s Sirma Karapeeva says the small quota and high out-of-quota tariff makes it difficult, if not impossible, for NZ meat companies to form commercially meaningful relationships and build a stable trade in beef to the EU. She says it’s not credible for a trading partner like the EU, which purports to be a champion of free trade, to maintain small quotas and high tariffs. 

Chairman of the Dairy Companies Association Malcolm Bailey launched a withering attack on the EU Commission for the ‘offer’ saying NZ has actually got better access now so why would it want an FTA that makes us worse off.

“What they are offering is taking us backwards,” he says.

Bailey says the EU was all talk about an ambitious, high quality FTA, but says the offer is anything but, calling it a slap in the face.

“It’s very hard not to see it that way,” he says.

More like this

Meat quota rates remain vital

A jump in the value and volume of New Zealand’s sheepmeat exports to Europe and the UK shows why preserving WTO tariff-rate quotas is so important, claims the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

Quota split a major worry

New Zealand meat exporters want the EU and UK to get serious on reaching a deal on post-Brexit quotas.

UK/EU trade scrap worries exporters

Britain's decision to break its deal with the EU over Brexit is creating uncertainty for NZ dairy exporters, according to Malcolm Bailey — chair of the Dairy Companies Association of NZ (DCANZ).

Clock ticking on EU meat deal

Trade experts are warning that time is running out to secure the future of New Zealand red meat exports to the European Union.

Featured

 

John Deere names new Aust/NZ head

John Deere Australia/New Zealand’s new managing director Luke Chandler says he will prioritise leading the way in technology and investing in strong relationships.

Trade deal delivers new 'rulebook'

A new trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), has been described as a new rule book for trade in the Asian region.

National

Wyeth ready for the 'Coast'

The chief executive-elect of Yili-owned Westland Milk Products Richard Wyeth is looking forward to the challenge of running the company.

Machinery & Products

Weeds in for a shock

WIith an increasing focus on reducing chemical herbicides, largely because of crop resistance and a potential build-up of residues, new…

V8 - a baler with a grunt

Following three years of testing with clients worldwide, Ireland-based manufacturer McHale has added a bigger model to its range of…

Virtual CV valuable tool

With a 12-year history of recruiting specialised operators from overseas to service the agricultural contracting industry, Hanzon Jobs typically brings…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Action, please!

The Hound notes that despite the new government having been elected for well over a month, there seems to a…

Educated?

Your canine crusader is intrigued to learn that the upper-class twats who attend Oxford University in the UK have voted…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter