Historic free trade agreement with the European Union

New Zealand and the European Union have signed a ground-breaking Free Trade Agreement that will provide significant new trade access to our fourth-largest trading partner. 

The EU FTA will increase our exports to the EU by up to $1.8 billion per year by 2035.

Tariff savings on New Zealand exports are $100 million from day one of the agreement entering into force, the highest immediate tariff saving delivered by any New Zealand FTA. That’s around three times the immediate savings from the UK FTA.

Securing trade deals for our exporters is a top priority for Chris Hipkins and Labour. Between this and the UK FTA we will save around $150 million annually in tariffs on our exports as well as adding billions every year to New Zealand’s GDP.

Cutting costs and supporting Kiwi exporters

This will provide significant new opportunities for our world-leading exporters of products such as kiwifruit, seafood, onions, honey, wine, butter, cheese, beef and sheep meat. This new access will help to accelerate our post-Covid recovery, while providing a boost to our regions as they grapple with the longer-term effects of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Based on current trade figures New Zealand will have the opportunity through combined FTA and WTO quotas to provide up to 60% of the EU’s butter imports – up from 14% today. New Zealand cheeses could also make up 15% of the EU’s imported cheeses, up from 0.5% t today, which is no mean feat for a small nation like ours.

The FTA also builds on our already sizeable WTO quota for sheep meat, meaning that if farmers use this new access, we could account for up to 96% of EU imports. This provides further trade resilience for our exporters, while expanding by eight-fold our access for beef.

New Zealand producers are some of the most sustainable in the world and these credentials resonate well with EU consumers. New Zealand and the EU share similar values and a commitment to high labour, environment and animal welfare standards.

The NZ-EU FTA includes ambitious sustainable trade outcomes in a range of areas, including climate change, labour rights, women’s economic empowerment, environmentally harmful fisheries and fossil fuel subsidies.

We’ve got to keep on our path to lower emissions if we want high quality trade deals that benefit our economy.

The FTA contains another important ‘EU first’ that New Zealand worked hard to secure - a Māori Trade and Economic Cooperation chapter that will create a platform for greater engagement with the EU on Māori economic and trade interests.

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