UK FTA ‘Back to the Future’

October 21, 2021

Today’s announcement of a comprehensive new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United Kingdom will offer some welcome variation in market access to New Zealand exporters, say the EMA.

"It’s great news for many of our export members, particularly in the horticulture, wine and honey sectors. The dropping of 97% of all tariffs from day one is a major success and the access to new investment in both direction is also significant," says Chief Executive, Brett O’Riley.

"I don’t think New Zealand would have had this level of free access into the UK since before the UK first went into the then European Economic Community (EEC) back in 1973. That was a black day for many exporters, but this announcement is a bit ‘Back to the Future’ in terms of access."

New Zealand is just the second country to negotiate an FTA with the UK since Brexit with many tariffs being dropped immediately. There are exceptions in some areas of our agriculture exports.

"Those exceptions aren’t unexpected as they tend to be among the sticking points in most of our FTA negotiations. But there is still good news for the sheep and beef sectors with larger export quotas and the longer-term dropping of all tariffs on those exports."

Mr O’Riley says the new agreement was an opportunity for exporters to look to another market with basically free access and to grow our exports to the UK, currently our seventh largest market.

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