Britain and New Zealand sign free trade agreement

LONDON / WELLINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Britain and New Zealand reached a tentative agreement on a free trade agreement aimed at lowering tariffs, improving trade and bringing London closer to joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). ).

British Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sealed the deal in an appeal on Wednesday after 16 months of negotiations.

“This is an excellent trade agreement for the United Kingdom, consolidating our long friendship with New Zealand and strengthening our ties with the Indo-Pacific,” Boris Johnson said in a statement.

All tariffs on all products will be eliminated between the two countries and a large majority of them, 97%, will be eliminated the day the trade agreement takes effect, Jacinda Ardern said.

The deal comes just months after a similar deal between Britain and Australia, as British ministers seek to break out of trade dependence on the European Union.

The ministers consider this to be a further step towards joining the TPP, which brings together Japan, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, Chile and Malaysia, and eliminates 95% of tariffs between its members.

Joining the TPP has become Britain’s top trade goal after Brexit after prospects for a swift and comprehensive deal with the United States faded. Britain hopes to become a member by the end of 2022.

(William James and Praveen Menon report; French version Camille Raynaud)

Vince Fernandez

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