When New Zealand’s Agriculture, Biosecurity and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor met with his new Australian counterpart yesterday, the subject of biosecurity was top of their agenda.
That’s how Trade and Export Growth Minister, Damien O’Connor is describing the announcement today that NZ and the UK have agreed ‘in principle’ to an historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This means that the FTA deal has been done, with just the final text to be worked through by officials in the coming months.
O’Connor says he’s proud of what NZ has achieved in the negotiations with 97% of tariffs being eliminated on our products entering the UK.
“There will be a transition period for our butter, cheese, beef and sheep meat producers during which time they will enjoy significant tariff-free transitional quotas. This provides great opportunity to grow our trade through these periods. For instance, 7,000 tonnes of butter, and 24,000 tonnes of cheese can flow to the UK market tariff-free at commencement. That will grow to 15,000 for butter, and 48,000 for cheese by Year 5, after which point trade will be free,” he says.
O’Connor says 12,000 tonnes of beef at commencement will grow to 60,000 in Year 15, after which point beef trade will be free and 149,000 tonnes of sheepmeat at commencement will grow to 164,000 in Year 15. There are also new arrangements for other products such as apple and honey.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as one of NZ best deals ever and says it’s secured at a crucial time in the Covid recovery. She says it will serve our economy and exporters well.
The deal comes just a week after O’Connor met with the UK’s Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan in Italy.