Ngongotaha News: Trans-Pacific Partnership will bring benefits locally

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Last week the largest free trade agreement in New Zealand’s history was signed by 12 countries, totalling 36 per cent of the world’s economy. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has certainly had its detractors, but it is set to bring significant gains to Rotorua.

This agreement gives our exporters much better access to more than 800 million customers in Asia, North America and the Pacific, and is expected to add $2.7 billion to our economy by 2030.

The TPP completely eliminates tariffs on all forestry products going into Canada, the United States, and Vietnam, and 69 per cent of the tariffs for products going into Japan. This will mean significant savings for the industry – estimated to be around $9 million once TPP comes into force.

The deal also means that it makes far better sense to export value added processed products such as sawn wood, fibreboard, and builder’s joinery. This has huge potential for more jobs and higher wages in Rotorua.

TPP is also a good deal for the sheep and beef industry. Savings for the industry thanks to TPP are expected to be around $59.8 million for beef farmers, and $2.6 million for sheep farmers – all of which goes back into our economy.

We are a small nation that relies on trade with the world. This deal is a game changer for New Zealand, and not being part of it would have been a missed opportunity. I welcome and celebrate its conclusion.