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TPP Negotiations Need to Deliver for Agriculture

12 December 2012, at 8:24am

NEW ZEALAND - New Zealand's red meat sector is encouraging all negotiating parties in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to work tirelessly to ensure this agreement can be completed by October 2013.

Key outcomes from the completion of TPP must be the elimination of agricultural trade barriers and the opportunity for greater economic integration across the Asia Pacific region, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) say.

The B+LNZ and MIA chairmen, Mike Petersen and Bill Falconer (respectively) reinforced the need for reduced barriers to agricultural trade, including the elimination of tariffs and other technical barriers as a priority. Achieving that would create benefits and opportunities for all TPP members exporting red meat products.

"The TPP agreement has the potential to create new opportunities for all red meat exporting countries through improved market access, reducing both tariff and non-tariff barriers, and trade facilitation in the Asia Pacific region," Mr Falconer said.

The TPP agreement also offers the opportunity to do business more easily and transparently.

B+LNZ and MIA are present at the TPP negotiating round in Auckland, meeting with the agricultural trade negotiators and talking with agricultural and meat producer representative organisations from partner countries.

Mr Petersen said the New Zealand red meat sector had well established links with a number of producer organisations, including the Canadian and Mexican beef producers.

"Both Canada and Mexico are part of the Five Nations Beef Alliance along with Australia, the United States and ourselves. Together, we represent producers from countries that account for one-third of global beef production and approximately half of global beef exports.

"The Alliance will be presenting its views on what it considers would be a successful outcome for the beef trade from these negotiations. Our view is that we must achieve a high quality comprehensive agreement that acknowledges the importance of beef production and consumption for all participating countries."

Jock Laurie, President of the National Farmers’ Federation of Australia, stated: “We need to bring these negotiations to a timely close. The leaders of the TPP countries have stated a desire to complete negotiations in 2013. Negotiators need to demonstrate real progress on difficult issues and express their commitment to this timeframe.“

B+LNZ and the MIA will continue to monitor progress over coming months and where desired assist negotiators to address the key issues relevant to the red meat sector in order to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

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