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FTA negotiations set benchmark

New Zealand's red meat sector believes the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement sets a benchmark for New Zealand negotiations, according to the Meat Industry Association.

Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva said it represents a useful yardstick for negotiations between New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

“Based on reports, the Australian deal sets a useful baseline for the New Zealand-UK negotiations with eventual tariff-free access for sheepmeat and beef and zero tariff rates on in-quota trade in the interim,” she said.

“However, the devil is often in the detail in trade agreements and we will be studying this closely when the agreement eventually comes out.

“We will be looking to achieve a better outcome in the NZ-UK FTA and we look forward to a swift conclusion of our own FTA negotiations. Unfortunately we are still seeing a gap between rhetoric and action.”

Sam McIvor, chief executive of Beef and Lamb NZ, said the agreement was a significant milestone for the UK as it seeks to forge an independent trade policy post-Brexit.

“It is giving some better signals around the UK's intentions to be a serious free trader.

“The UK-Australia deal looks like it is a shift away from the EU protectionist model and this is welcome.”