Wednesday, February 28, 2024

New Zealand wins trade dispute with Canada

Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor, is claiming a win for New Zealand primary sector exporters after the CPTPP Panel ruled in favour of New Zealand in its dispute against Canada.

The Panel found that Canada’s dairy quota administration is inconsistent with its obligations under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

“Canada was not living up to its commitments under CPTPP, by effectively blocking access for our dairy industry to upscale its exports. That will now have to change,” Mr O’Connor said.

“This is a significant win for New Zealand and our exporters. Our dairy industry lost out on an estimated $120 million in revenue from the Canadian market in the past three years.

“Since 2017 our Government has signed seven new or upgraded free trade agreements – including CPTPP – and we have seen our primary sector exports grow to record heights of $57.4 billion this year.

“These were hard-won negotiated outcomes, and today’s ruling will give exporters confidence and certainty that the mechanisms in place will ensure they receive the market access that all members agreed to.

“As part of the CPTPP agreement, we secured new dairy quota access accounting for 3.3% of Canada’s market – tens of thousands of tonnes per year in key dairy products for New Zealand’s exporters.”

The Panel found that New Zealand exporters were not able to fully utilise Canada’s 16 dairy tariff rate quotas and that Canada was granting priority access to their own domestic dairy processors.

“Between CPTPP, the UK FTA, the EU FTA, and our other FTA upgrades, the Government is successfully creating new opportunities for our exporters in some of the largest markets in the world, which are home to hundreds of millions of consumers,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Since 2017, primary sector export revenue has increased by 50 per cent with dairy – our biggest export earner – hitting a record high of $26 billion for the year ending June 2023.

“As a Government, we will continue to back our businesses and ensure that the historic gains we have made are not undermined and that the rules of our trade agreements are upheld.

“New Zealand continues to value its strong friendship with Canada, one of our warmest and closest relationships in the world. The dispute settlement mechanisms in CPTPP provide us with a neutral forum to resolve discrete trade issues such as this one.

“We look forward to our dairy exporters being able to properly utilise the hard-won market access we negotiated through CPTPP and we hope Canadian customers will welcome more consumer choice,” he said.

Further information relating to the dispute is available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

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