You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Dairy left behind in TPP: Fonterra

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/04/2016

Dairy liberalisation needs to be at the heart of any renegotiation or expansion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Fonterra says.

Dairy proved to be one of the sticking points in the 12-nation free trade agreement and it was one of the last issues to be resolved as negotiations went right down to the wire in October last year.

Both the government and Fonterra admitted at the time that the deal done was far from perfect.

By the time the TPP is fully implemented, the government has estimated the dairy industry as a whole will save about $96 million in tariffs.

But Fonterra's global stakeholder affairs director Philip Turner says dairy is the only significant New Zealand export industry that hasn't been able to secure a clear pathway towards the elimination of all trade barriers under the TPP.

Mr Turner told MPs on parliament's foreign affairs, defence and trade select committee on Thursday that New Zealand's negotiators and trade ministers did do a good job.

"The difficulty with dairy is it's a really bloody tough environment out there," he said.

"You've got some very protectionist nations with a lot of clout and when it comes down to it, the number of nations - particularly in TPP - who are prepared to stand up and fight strongly for dairy liberalisation turned out to be a very, very small number and that's why we are where we are."

In the event the TPP was renegotiated or expanded in the future, Mr Turner hoped dairy liberalisation would be a priority for the government.

Under the TPP, tariffs will be lifted on some dairy products and dairy exporters will get preferential access to new quotas in the United States, Japan, Canada and Mexico - all highly protected dairy markets.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon