24 Jun 2014

Fed Farmers keen to push on with TPP

7:28 am on 24 June 2014

Federated Farmers wants the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to push ahead, despite some countries dragging their heels on it.

Twelve countries, including New Zealand are taking part in the free trade negotiations. But some, such as Japan and Canada, are resisting the elimination of agricultural tariffs.

Prime Minister John Key and United States President Barack Obama expressed strong support for the TPP when they met in Washington DC on Saturday.

Federated Farmers' president Bruce Wills said a successful agreement was clearly beneficial for both this country and its farmers.

"Very clearly we understand the benefits of freer trade, particularly with the China free trade agreement (and) more recently with Taiwan," Mr Wills said.

"And I guess our concern has been for some time that the TPP has been slowing momentum somewhat, so we're just putting our support behind the prime minister and saying 'get on with it'.

"This stuff's critical. If we've got some countries there that are finding the pace too difficult, my comment would be well maybe they need to stand aside and let the majority of this 12-member group get on and sign a full and comprehensive trade deal."

It would be better to sign up those countries which wanted a deal than not to have a deal at all, Mr Wills said.