21 Jun 2013

Trade envoy not fazed by US-EU talks

1:29 pm on 21 June 2013

New Zealand's agricultural trade envoy doesn't think the launch of free-trade talks between the United States and the European Union is going to cause too many complications for this country.

Some trade commentators are worried the talks could disrupt the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, which also involve the US.

But Alistair Polson says they are likely to be wrapped up well before a US-EU deal, so he doesn't see it causing too many issues for New Zealand.

He also points out that New Zealand is far less dependent on Europe and the US for trade now.

Mr Polson says 30 to 40 years ago 80% of the agricultural trade went to Europe and North America. It's about 25% now, and shrinking.