Trade continues to make for strange bedfellows as USA and NZ face off against the UK

New Zealand is ready to retaliate against a British move which threatens our dairy and lamb markets there.

And that retaliation could go as far as to use our membership of the World Trade Organisation to stop Brexit in its tracks until issues over lamb and butter quotas are resolved.

As part of its Brexit negotiations, Britain and the EU have already agreed to split agriculture import quotas among the remaining 27 members of the EU and Britain.

The split will allocate average exports over the last three years to the EU or Britain according to where they were sent.

But according to trade sources in Wellington that would prevent exporters from being able to place products like lamb in Britain or (say) Germany according to where market demand was strongest.

In New Zealand’s case, it would be largely locked into the British market which may not be as lucrative after Brexit has had its impact on that country’s economy.

But it is not just New Zealand that is affected.

So are big agricultural exporters like the US and Brazil.

And though New Zealand has been suspicious of the Trump administration’s “America First” policy on trade it has found itself on the same side as the US in this row.

The agricultural exporters have a number of weapons up their sleeves — one of their key ones (ironically) is to use Investor States Dispute Settlement type provisions within the WTO which would require the WTOP to convene an independent panel to adjudicate on the dispute.

Otherwise, New Zealand could hold Britain’s membership of the World Trade Organisation after Brexit until it agreed to change the quota arrangement.

New Zealand is among a group of agriculture exporters — Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Thailand — who have signed a letter to the World Trade Organisation objecting to the British – EU proposal.

They have now been supported by the US Trump administration who have also signed the letter.

So much for New Zealand being the UK’s newest best friend and the first cab off the rank when it came to post-Brexit trade negotiations.   Oddly enough, traditional western and Commonwealth markets have not been very friendly for New Zealand exporters.  Which is why we are having more success in the Middle East and Communist China.

 

Politik


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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