NEW ZEALAND, Wellington. The planned trade agreement with the EU is causing unrest in New Zealand. The beef industry is demanding better access to the european market.
An agreement in principle is to be reached soon for the planned comprehensive trade agreement between the european Union and New Zealand. With market access offers so far "of poor quality" and sobering reports on the state of negotiations with the EU, New Zealand's red meat industry is warning that the agreement is inadequate. "If these reports are true, New Zealand red meat exporters will continue to face an uneven playing field in the EU," Meat Industry Association (MIA) executive director Sirma Karapeeva complained. The industry is not prepared to support an agreement that gives New Zealand meat poor access to this important market, she said. The EU has made clear its ambitions for a comprehensive and world-class trade agreement, she said.
As a long-standing trading partner with shared values and commitments to high standards, we would be very disappointed if the quality of market access did not reflect this, Karapeeva said. Beef+Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) industry association CEO Sam McIvor stressed that protectionism sends a negative signal to trading partners and is in stark contrast to the EU Commission's statements about the importance of trade liberalization and openness. Despite a long-standing trade relationship, New Zealand does not yet have a free trade agreement, which is a significant disadvantage compared to the EU's other free trade partners, he said.
According to McIvor, New Zealand's current access to the EU beef market is severely limited by a tariff-rate quota of 846 t with a 20 % tariff rate. Outside of that quota, an ad valorem duty of 12.8% is imposed, in addition to tariffs ranging from € 171.3 to € 311.8 per 100 kg, which can add up to a 50% import burden. Maintaining a small quota with a reduced duty would make it nearly impossible for New Zealand meat exporters to develop an economically viable stable trade in beef to the EU and meet consumer demand there. Both organizations therefore urged the New Zealand government to "show leadership and reject any substandard farm access offer."
Source: fleischwirtschaft.de; AgE