The New Zealand government has ratified the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, despite it being unlikely to ever go ahead after the withdrawal of the United States. Trade Minister Todd McClay said the move sent a clear message that New Zealand saw “value in a common set of high-quality rules across the Asia-Pacific”.
Nevertheless, the news has been welcomed by the wine and seafood industries. The future growth of the industry is bound up in having free and fair access into major export markets, said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. “The news of the ratification of the TPP agreement signals the importance of improved market access into some of the wealthiest and fastest growing economies in the world.”
Similarly, Seafood New Zealand chief executive Tim Pankhurst said the industry relies on trade, as does wider New Zealand. “We exported $1.8 billion of seafood last year and free and open access to markets is critical for the industry. There are still very valuable markets for New Zealand among the remaining TPP countries and ratification is a show of faith in a future agreement that will be of benefit to the seafood industry.”