Japan announces keen to join TPP

by | Mar 16, 2013 | Uncategorized

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Japan’s prospective entry into the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations has been welcomed by organisations representing New Zealand’s international businesses.

“Japan is a major partner for New Zealand in the Asia Pacific region” said Sir Graeme Harrison, Chairman of the New Zealand International Business Forum.

“Japan has for some time been the missing link in terms of New Zealand’s network of free trade agreements in the region, although we are already committed to negotiating with Japan in the context of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). TPP is a more ambitious negotiation and is already well underway and so we welcome Japan to both sets of negotiations which aim to deliver an even stronger economic partnership between both countries”.

“Japan’s entry into TPP potentially increases both the negotiation’s coverage and economic impact” said Rt Hon Jim Bolger, Chairman of the NZ US Council.

“Japan’s entry also brings additional complexity which we hope can be worked through expeditiously by negotiators. If TPP is to play a part in the region’s economic recovery it must be concluded as soon as possible”.

Japan is New Zealand’s fourth largest bilateral trading partner, with two-way trade worth NZ$6.1 billion in 2011. In the year ending December 2012, New Zealand exports to Japan totaled NZ$3.21 billion. Major exports included aluminium, wood, dairy products, fruit and meat. Japan imports into New Zealand totaled NZ$3.05 billion over the same period.

Both organisations highlighted the importance of concluding TPP as a high quality, comprehensive and ambitious agreement.

“TPP cannot begin to address the issues of the 21st century if it doesn’t finally put to bed the issues of last century. That includes barriers to agricultural trade and both Japan and the United States are now both committed to negotiate the removal over time of high agricultural tariffs,” said Sir Graeme.

“TPP is a complex undertaking and a lot is riding on its success. We continue to stand ready to work with New Zealand negotiators and our business allies in the United States, Japan and other TPP economies to encourage a substantive outcome” said Mr Bolger.

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