DCANZ urges negotiators to progress high standard TPP outcome for dairy

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The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) welcomes the indications of good progress for some food products in the TPP negotiation and urges negotiators to deliver high standard results for all products.

This week the US pork and beef industries have advocated in favour of the US administration gaining trade promotion authority based on the ‘high standard’ deal that is shaping up for them. This is understood to follow bilateral engagement between the US and Japanese Governments.

“Indications that a high standard deal is emerging for some currently highly protected agricultural products are heartening” says DCANZ Executive Director Kimberly Crewther. “This shows there is a willingness to tackle the hard, but critically important, issues within the negotiation.”

However, Crewther cautioned that it was important for a high standard of ambition to be applied to all products, including dairy, and across the full TPP membership. “It was a cause for significant celebration when all TPP parties agreed in 2011 to progress towards a deal that would result in tariff elimination across all goods and for all trade between TPP member counties. We’re urging negotiators to keep these ‘Honolulu goals’ in sight. Dairy exporters want to support not only the intent, but also the realisation of a deal that reflects these goals.”

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand represents the common policy interests of 12 member companies who together account for 98% of New Zealand dairy exports. In turn these exports deliver 35% of New Zealand’s export revenues. “The outcomes of TPP are of critical importance to the New Zealand economy,” said Crewther.

Dairy remains one of the most highly restricted sectors for trade globally. Tariff rates of over 300% currently create impenetrable barriers to trade with some TPP member markets. “TPP must deliver some relief to New Zealand’s dairy farmers and exporters who are already struggling due to extremely low prices and don’t receive the subsidies or border protections that other countries use so freely,” said Crewther

Kimberly Crewther has joined other New Zealand dairy industry representatives in New York this week, where TPP negotiators are meeting.

The New Zealand dairy industry supports trade liberalisation on the basis of the two way benefits it brings. “A TPP deal that delivers on the objectives for total trade liberalisation will have broad benefits for all those living in the Asia-Pacific region. It will support economic growth, incentivise efficient production and deliver greater choices to consumers” says Crewther. “Ultimately it’s in everyone’s interests to have food moving across borders to meet food demand as easily as electronic goods currently do. TPP can and must substantially contribute to this goal.”

For further information contact:
Kimberly Crewther, Executive Director
Malcolm Bailey, Chairman, DCANZ

About DCANZ:

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) was formed in July 2003 to co-ordinate and represent the collective public policy interests of its member dairy companies. Its membership comprises, Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company Limited, Westland Milk Products, Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited, Goodman Fielder New Zealand Limited, Synlait Milk Limited, Open Country Dairy Limited, Miraka Limited, Fonterra Brands (New Zealand) Ltd,, Danone-Nutricia NZ Limited, Oceania Dairy Limited, Yashili New Zealand Dairy Co Ltd, and Dairy Goat Co-operative Ltd.