11 Feb 2014

NZ part of beef alliance

7:59 am on 11 February 2014

New Zealand is part of a four-country beef industry alliance urging Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiators to resist attempts to undermine the agreement.

Beef producers from Australia, Canada, the United States and New Zealand say the TPP must deliver on the original 2011 goal of eliminating tariffs and other trade barriers.

The alliance is concerned some countries in the trade talks could seek to exclude some so-called sensitive products from comprehensive, duty free access.

It says granting those sorts of exemptions will result in other countries seeking similar treatment, eroding the economic gains to be made.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand trade policy manager Tracey Paterson says the beef alliance members have given their governments the same message.

"They are clearly setting out the message to their respective ministers and government that they would be concerned if there is a less-than-comprehensive TPP deal," she says.

The alliance has similar concerns to those raised by a coalition of New Zealand food producers.

"We felt, as an alliance of beef-exporting countries, it was also important that we clearly set out our position as well on these concerns around a less-than-comprehensive deal," Ms Paterson says.

The beef alliance is also advocating the importance of adopting science-based regulations in the TPP.