New Zealand ratifies TPP deal despite US exit

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

The Trans-Pacific Partnership was ratified by New Zealand's government
The Trans-Pacific Partnership was ratified by New Zealand's government

Related tags: New zealand, United states, Meat

The New Zealand meat industry has praised its government’s decision to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), despite US withdrawal.

The TPP was ratified by Trade Minister Todd McClay who said it was to keep “options open​” and send a clear message that New Zealand saw “value in a common set of high-quality rules across the Asia-Pacific​”.

Japan has also ratified the TPP. However, the trading partnership was placed in jeopardy when US President Donald Trump formally withdrew​ from the process in January of this year.

Other signatories – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – are expected to also ratify the TPP soon. However, despite ratifying it, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe​ said a TPP without the US would be “meaningless​”.

In order for TPP to actually happen, it has to be ratified by February 2018​ by at least six countries that account for 85% of the group’s economic output, which may prove difficult without the US. There are currently suggestions that a new deal may be worked out with those in favour of TPP.

The ratification was welcomed by the New Zealand meat industry. In a joint statement, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) said progressing “makes complete sense​”.

It makes complete sense that the government has continued with the process of ratifying TPP, which other key TPP members have also done, such as Japan,​” said Sam McIvor, CEO of B+LNZ. “This positions New Zealand well to take a leadership role in the continued discussions about the future of TPP.​”

Tim Ritchie, CEO of the MIA, added: “While the red meat sector would ideally like to see a TPP agreement that includes the United States, there is also considerable value for our sector from the implementation of the agreement without the US. Japan, in particular, is a key beef market, where tariffs remain very high, and we need to regain a level playing field with key competitors. The industry also has strong interests in markets like Canada and Mexico.​”

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