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New Zealand and the United States Build Relationship Through Free Trade

August 2, 2016

Diane Farrell is the Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for Asia at the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Adrian Stover is an International Trade Specialist covering New Zealand.  Both are based in Washington, DC.

New Zealand is an important partner for the United States in the Asia-Pacific region.  Across the board, New Zealand and the United States have worked closely to expand opportunities, peace and prosperity in the South Pacific with shared economic, security, defense, diplomatic, and development efforts.  In addition, the United States and New Zealand have worked together to help shape emerging institutions in the Asia-Pacific such as the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.  The TPP is a high-standard agreement to support broad-based mutual economic growth, create a level playing field, protect the rights of workers, preserve the environment, and uphold intellectual property rights.

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New Zealand

Like neighboring Australia, New Zealand is a rules-based democracy with familiar legal and corporate structures and an English-speaking business culture.  New Zealand is consistently ranked among the top countries in economic freedom, lack of corruption, and ease of doing business, placing 2nd of 189 countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index in 2016.  In addition, its market of 4.5 million people is ideal for small and medium-sized U.S. companies, including those that are new to exporting.

The United States is New Zealand’s third-ranked trading partner after China and Australia.  In 2014, the United States exported $4.3 billion in goods and $2.2 billion in services to New Zealand.

New Zealand and the United States recognize the mutual benefits of regional trade and worked closely together during negotiations for the TPP.  The TPP is New Zealand’s first trade agreement with the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and Peru.  Under TPP, New Zealand will eliminate all tariffs on U.S. exports of industrial and consumer goods, including machinery, chemicals and automobile parts, which currently face tariffs of up to 10 percent.

The TPP will enhance the ability of U.S. companies to collaborate seamlessly with New Zealand companies to access the less developed, but fast-growing markets of TPP member countries like Malaysia and Vietnam.  With free trade access to the most dynamic 40 percent of the global GDP, the TPP will link New Zealand with globally significant markets and will help diversify its trade and investment relationships.

For information on new U.S. export opportunities to New Zealand under the TPP please see our New Zealand TPP factsheet.  Additionally, to learn about best sectors for U.S. exports to New Zealand, please see our Country Commercial Guide and Top Market Reports.  We invite U.S. exporters interested in exploring the New Zealand market to contact our Commercial Specialist in Wellington.

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