Print this page

How sentiment in Latin America could help NZ trade

  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size

Nervousness in Latin America about rising protectionist sentiment could help New Zealand to secure a better trade deal as the region's countries look towards the Asia-Pacific, Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker says.

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.

Speaking to Newsroom's Sam Sadcheva from Mexico, Parker said he was positive with the progress of FTA negotiations, first launched in June 2017.

“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 . . .