Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited Chairman John Wilson said the conclusion of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in Atlanta, USA, today was a small but significant step forward for the dairy sector.
“TPP has been an enormous undertaking,” said Mr Wilson, returning from Atlanta. “While the dairy outcome is far from perfect, we appreciate the significant effort made by Minister Groser and his negotiators to get some gains in market access for our farmers.
“Dairy has been very hard to resolve and New Zealand has managed to get some progress against the odds. Our team has done well to lift the deal from where it stood at the Ministerial meeting in Maui. While I am very disappointed that the deal falls far short of TPP’s original ambition to eliminate all tariffs, there will be some useful gains for New Zealand dairy exporters in key TPP markets such as the US, Canada and Japan. Greater benefits will be seen in future years as tariffs on some product lines are eliminated.”
Mr Wilson said that the entrenched protectionism demonstrated by the US dairy industry in particular had ensured that the deal on dairy failed to reach its potential.