A free trade deal with the United Kingdom is getting closer, with both sides set to sign an agreement in principal by the end of the month.
The UK government has released more details of how negotiations have been progressing.
Tariffs on exports of honey and apples to the UK would be slashed and wine which faces tariffs of up to 20 pence per bottle would also be expected to be cut.
Honey exports are around $70 million a year and apples $65 million so that is a bit. Wine is $500 million a year so also good.
One of the main beneficiaries from a free-trade deal would be the red meat sector which has been calling for easier access to the UK for some time – but there was no mention of the industry in the latest update.
New Zealand International Business forum executive director Stephen Jacobi said the glaring omission was no mistake.
“Beef, lamb and dairy are the three most sensitive parts of the negotiation, it’s great the UK government is preparing their public for an ambitious outcome but the outcome has to speak to our major items of trade interest other wise there’s not point in doing a deal,” Jacobi said.
“I fully encourage our government to be as far leaning as they possibly can on those areas to clinch this deal. It would be absolutely ridiculous if we were to enter into an FTA with the UK that did not put forward the prospect of free trade, zero tariffs in lamb and beef and dairy within a reasonable timeframe.”
I agree that the FTA needs to have a path to zero tariffs for our major exports.