Britain and New Zealand have agreed a trade deal that removes tariffs on a variety of goods. Britain expands economic ties around the world after leaving the European Union.
The deal was cemented late Wednesday at a telephone conference between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, after 16 months of negotiators’ talks.
Although trade with New Zealand accounts for only 0.2% of UK trade, the country hopes to open the door to membership in a trans-Pacific trade partnership.
The regional partnership, which includes Japan, Canada and Vietnam, will have a GDP of $11.6 trillion in 2020.
“This is a big moment for the UK that includes our partnership with New Zealand. We’re really excited,” Johnson told Ardern in a video conference call.
Ardern said it was one of the best deals New Zealand had ever struck and would boost the country’s economy by about 1 billion New Zealand dollars ($720 million) as it paved the way for more sales of wine, butter, cheese and beef from the country.
Trade officials in the UK backed the deal, arguing that sauvignon blanc, Manuka honey and kiwifruit from New Zealand would be cheaper for British consumers.
Clothing, buses and bulldozers will also no longer be charged.
However, British peasants expressed dismay. They argue that the deal, and another signed with Australia earlier this year, could boost food imports at a time when labor shortages and rising costs have hurt many British farmers. [mg/lt]