All eyes on Washington

by | May 15, 2013 | Uncategorized

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The US NZ Pacific Partnership Forum, the fifth in a series, initiated by the US NZ Council and the NZ US Council opens in Washington DC on Sunday May 19. This year’s Forum is markedly different from earlier versions – bigger (over 250 attendees), more diverse (including 45 future partners in the age range 20 to 30) and open to the press. This year’s Forum comes as good progress is being made on devising a new foundation for the economic relationship in the form of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which links not only the United States and New Zealand but ten other economies. This development is long over-due. Research by NZIER shows that over time the two countries have become economically less important to each other. Today New Zealand provides 0.15% of the US’s total goods imports, down from 0.26% in 1991. The US share of New Zealand imports has dropped from 17% to 9.3% in the same period. The US remains our third largest export market and a major partner for investment, tourism, film and education.

TPP is about more than just the United States. Japan’s prospective entry has radically changed the economic prize for New Zealand with GDP set to rise by $2.2 billion up by 2025 up from $0.5 billion without Japan. TPP is about setting a new framework for trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region. In an age of the global supply chains, US involvement remains critical. So we can expect a lot of discussion about TPP at the forthcoming Forum, reflecting the significant political and business interest in TPP in Washington right now, along with some discussion about what’s next for the NZ/US relationship once TPP is concluded.

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