Trade update October
CPTPP, RCEP, Pacific alliance and more…
With New Zealand and Canada having ratified the CPTPP Agreement late last week we are now just one member away from the agreement coming into force. If all goes well Australia might ratify this week. This would mean that CPTPP will be in force by early January 2019. This is very good news.
The good news continues. Good progress was achieved in Auckland last week in the latest round of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Regional Partnership. As New Zealand already has FTAs with ASEAN, Australia, China, Korea and Japan this agreement is in practice about a New Zealand FTA with India. Market access will not be great but at least it will allow for improvement in the future. And it will lock all parties into an enforceable dispute settlement system. With the WTO system becoming increasingly dysfunctional this is an important achievement.
Colombia attended the most recent negotiations in Mexico City. This is good forward movement on the negotiations in Auckland – where they stayed away. Negotiators remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached by the end of the year. It will be interesting to see how dairy and meat are handled in the Colombia outcome.
It seems that we will continue paying 25% of our steel and 10% on our aluminium exports to the US. Minister Parker’s visit unfortunately did not achieve a breakthrough but good on him for trying.
Ministers from a number of WTO countries met in Ottawa to push a reform agenda. The meeting went well. But the problem does not really lie inside the meeting room….How to engage the US and avoid an anti-China agenda is the key to progress.