9 Mar 2018

TPP will have immediate benefits - Beef + Lamb NZ

4:35 pm on 9 March 2018

The signing of the revised TPP deal is expected to lead to immediate benefits for farmers and exporters here.

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Photo: AFP

New Zealand and 10 other nations today signed the deal which was revised and renegotiated after the US withdrew last year.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand calculated the deal would save New Zealand's red meat sector more than $70 million in tariffs once fully implemented.

The deal is crucial to getting better access into Japan, where Australia has taken a large chunk of New Zealand's market share after signing a deal with the country two years ago.

Rowena Hume from Beef + Lamb said there would be immediate benefits once the deal was implemented.

"For example Japan - which is one of our largest beef markets - on entry into force, tariffs on beef will go down from 38.5 percent to 27.4 percent ... that's really significant.

"In the last couple of years since Australia's FTA entered into force with Japan, their beef exports have increased by about a billion dollars, while ours have gone down by about $50 million."

Ms Hume said the market had been growing, but New Zealand had been losing a lot of market share.

"We're also going to get an immediate significant advantage over the US, who are the second largest beef exporters to Japan - because they'll continue to face the same 38.5 percent tariffs."

With the deal signed, New Zealand still has to go through its domestic ratification process, but Ms Hume said exporters would reap the rewards once that was done.

"Product entering Japan after that first day will face that immediate tariff reduction."

Ms Hume said the deal was even more important given US President Donald Trump had today imposed punitive tariffs on steel and aluminium, which has raised fears of a trade war.

"It's something that we are watching very closely... we're also looking for what might happen if retaliatory action is taken by other countries, that we don't get caught up on that."