McClay says time is right for trade deal with four amigos

27 June

Trade Minister Todd McClay says he believes the time is right to launch trade talks with Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia as part of the Government’s push for better access in Latin America.

Mr McClay leaves tomorrow to attend the Pacific Alliance Leaders Summit where a trade deal will be top of his agenda.

“We’ve been talking to the four Pacific Alliance countries about better access for Kiwi exporters for the last two years. With direct flights to South America there is increasing opportunity for New Zealanders to do more in these growing markets,” Mr McClay says.

“New Zealand currently has more than $1.1 billion dollars of two-way trade with the countries of the Alliance. But our exporters face high tariffs rates on many products, including dairy, which is currently our largest export.”

“A high-quality free trade agreement with Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru as part of the Pacific Alliance trading bloc presents a huge opportunity for New Zealand companies exporting to this fast-growing region because there is so much room for growth.”

Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru are home to 221 million consumers and have a huge combined GDP of US$3.85 trillion. The Pacific Alliance is a regional integration and trading bloc.

“Under Trade Agenda 2030, the Government’s new trade strategy, we have set the ambitious target of covering 90 per cent of our goods trade under FTAs and the Pacific Alliance is an important part of reaching that goal,” Mr McClay says.