The UK government has agreed a free trade deal with New Zealand that it says will benefit businesses by cutting red tape and removing tariffs.
The trade agreement marks the culmination of 16 months of talks by Department for International Trade negotiators.
Under the terms of the deal, tariffs as high as 10% will be removed on a variety of UK goods, from clothing to buses, while New Zealand products including sauvignon blanc wine, mānuka honey and kiwi fruits could be cheaper to buy in the UK.
Boris Johnson’s government says that the deal will remove barriers to the country’s trade with New Zealand, which was worth £2.3 billion last year. It is also expected to make it easier for UK professionals to live and work in New Zealand and for smaller businesses to break into the market.
“Food and drink manufacturers welcome the news that the UK has agreed in principle a trade deal with New Zealand – an important partner for UK food and drink, with trade in our sector’s products worth more than £661 million in 2020,” said Dominic Goudie, head of international trade, the Food and Drink Federation.
“Our manufacturers will benefit from an ambitious trade deal with New Zealand that removes a range of tariffs that currently constrain exports. Significant growth opportunities exist as UK production becomes more competitive in the New Zealand market.”
However, National Farmers’ Union president Minette Batters said the deal could have a “huge downside” for the UK’s dairy, livestock and horticulture sectors.
“The announcement of this trade deal with New Zealand, coupled with the Australia deal signed earlier this year, means we will be opening our doors to significant extra volumes of imported food – whether or not produced to our own high standards – while securing almost nothing in return for UK farmers,” said Batters.
The UK government hopes that the trade deal – which follows agreements with Australia and Japan – will help pave the way for the UK to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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