Parker has been in Mexico to attend a summit for the Pacific Alliance, a Latin American trading bloc made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
“We’re getting to the formal part of negotiations where the more difficult pieces of market access, tariff rates are negotiated.
“As with all negotiations, there are certain issues for some countries, but we have impressed upon the others that we need to have better market access offers.”
New Zealand trading access with Chile, Mexico and Peru is already set to improve when the CPTPP trade deal is ratified, while Colombia has also expressed an interest in joining the 11-nation deal.
'CPTPP Plus' needed
However, Parker said the Pacific Alliance countries wanted more diverse trading relationships that pushed into the Asia-Pacific, which meant any agreement would need to be high quality and improve upon the CPTPP.
“If it’s ‘CPTPP Plus’ then it’s more likely to have relevance to other countries as well, and given the experience and the nervousness that there is in Latin America as a consequence of what’s happening with this rising protectionism and their desire to avoid the effects of that on themselves, they want the Pacific Alliance to be relevant.”
Also of interest to New Zealand was the Pacific Alliance’s attempts to build bridges with the Mercosur trading bloc - comprising . . .