NZ agriculture and food coalition supports core TPP principles

by | Sep 2, 2013 | Uncategorized

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Following the conclusion of the 19th round of negotiations on the TPP on 30 August in Brunei Darussalam a coalition of agricultural and food organisations led by Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Fonterra Cooperative Group has spelled out expectations for a successful Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

The coalition made up of 13 agricultural and food organisations has written to Trade Minister Tim Groser and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, outlining a set of principles to ensure the TPP negotiations “fulfill the promise of a high-quality agreement that can serve as a standard for future trade agreements.”

The group said a final TPP agreement must:
• Cover all elements of trade and investment, including agriculture, goods, services, digital trade, competition policy and intellectual property.
• No product or sector exclusions, including in agriculture. Exclusions would limit opportunities in each of the member countries to reach new markets, grow businesses and generate economic growth and jobs.
• Phase out all tariffs and other market access barriers by the end of the negotiated transition period. Transition periods must have commercially meaningful timeframes, which should be short and not back-loaded.
• Include robust outcomes on sanitary-phytosanitary (SPS) issues. SPS measures also must be supported by risk-based scientific decision making, regulatory convergence and equivalence.
• Include a “Rapid Response Mechanism” to resolve issues with perishable and time-sensitive shipments of agricultural products held up as result of SPS and technical barriers to trade.
• Include an enforcement mechanism for trade obligations that go beyond those in the World Trade Organization. Failure to include such a mechanism would render new TPP disciplines valueless.
• Be a single undertaking. All elements of the negotiation, including tariff and non-tariff SPS measures, must be part of an indivisible package and cannot be agreed upon separately.

Sir Graeme Harrison, Chairman of the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) said the TPP needs to be an ambitious, high quality, comprehensive agreement, with no product or sector exclusions, address non-tariff barriers and be enforceable.

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