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Britain’s latest triumph in talks with New Zealand should result in a fall in the price of goods – including wine and apples – traded between the two nations as tariffs are scrapped. And there is excitement in the Government that the breakthrough will pave the way for a speedy deal with a group of 11 Pacific-facing countries, which would allow the UK to deliver on the promise of Brexit. The New Zealand deal, now in its final stages of negotiation, should slash tariffs worth up to 20p on a bottle of sauvignon blanc or pinot noir.
It may also drive down the cost of manuka honey and apples, as well as open up a host of opportunities for UK exporters.
It is hoped it will also lead to membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
New Zealand is a leading member of this free trade area – which includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
An ally of International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “A deal with the Kiwis will boost British exporters and benefit consumers, but its wider significance is as a gateway for Britain into the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which offers even greater prizes.
“It’s a hugely exciting prospect and Liz is working hard to make it happen. This is why we left the EU, in order to pivot Britain towards old allies and fast-growing Asian economies and strike much more ambitious and liberalising trade deals.
“It’s about cutting costs for families, boosting businesses across the country and making good on the promise of Brexit.”
The UK imported more than £42million of apples from New Zealand in 2020 and more than £32million of honey. The produce currently carry tariffs of eight percent and 16 percent respectively.
The deal would also mean that British exporters would no longer pay tariffs of up to 10 percent on goods ranging from chocolate to gin, buses and clothes. Trade in goods between the UK and New Zealand was worth £2.3billion last year and the country’s import market is expected to grow by 30 percent by 2030.
If the final deal is secured, the UK’s car industry can look forward to an important boost too.
Cars are Britain’s biggest export to New Zealand, with sales of £133million last year.
Buses, motorhomes and caravans should also see 10 percent tariffs removed entirely.
Ms Truss said: “We are working around the clock to get this deal done in the coming weeks. We are both big fans of each other’s high-quality products, so this could be a huge boost that allows British shoppers to enjoy lower prices and British exports to be even more competitive.
“New Zealand and the UK are natural partners united by modern values. An agreement would reflect those ideals and is a win-win for both.”
Dominic Goudie, of the Food & Drink Federation, said: “We hope to see the UK conclude an ambitious trade deal which removes tariffs facing UK exports of quality manufactured food and drink.
“This would provide a welcome boost for producers and exporters of iconic UK products, where UK sales in New Zealand are currently £10million each year.”