Release: Labour welcomes EU free trade agreement

The New Zealand Labour Party welcomes the entering into force of the European Union and New Zealand free trade agreement.

This agreement opens the door for a huge increase in trade opportunities with a market of 450 million people who are high value discerning consumers of New Zealand goods and services.

The Labour Government negotiated this agreement in record time through a period of Covid-19 and challenging international connections.

“I was honoured to lead a team of negotiators, supported by the Prime Minister and ministerial colleagues to negotiate a very high-quality agreement that sets a new standard for international trade agreements,” Labour spokesperson for trade Damien O’Connor said.

“Despite the traditional opposition from the farming sectors across the European Union, this agreement guarantees high standards of food production and safety, alongside environmental protections. 

“The agreement puts in place a chapter on indigenous trade opportunities, which was a first for the European Union, and a sign of the progression towards recognition of both the rights and potential opportunities for Māori and indigenous people across the globe.

“A commitment by both parties not to deviate from our commitments to the Paris Agreement to reduce global emissions means the values and aspirations of both the European Union and New Zealand to lead climate change action are endorsed through this trade agreement.

“Unfortunately, the Coalition Government’s inaction on climate, ending programmes like the Clean Car Discount and work to decarbonise big emitting industries, could undo all this.

“The agreement lifts beef export volumes from 3,333 tonnes to 10,000 tonnes after entry, and will mean New Zealand can provide up to 60 per cent of the butter imported by the EU. Huge progress was made for horticultural products, honey, services and investment opportunities along with cross border recognition of professional standards.”

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