Opportunity and risk in the current trade environment

NZIBF Director Stephen Jacobi discusses what is happening in the world of international trade at present on Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe. Watch the full interview here. 

There is plenty happening in the world of international trade at present.

New Zealand and the European Union (EU) have begun talks on a free trade deal, China and the United States are on the verge of a trade war, and the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the EU is looking messier by the day.

Trade expert Stephen Jacobi told RadioLIVE’s Rural Exchange that the EU negotiations around the agri-food sector are set to be long and complicated.

“I don’t think the European farmers are going to want to open up their market to us more than they have done already,” he said.

“We already have very good access for sheepmeat guaranteed by the WTO (World Trade Organisation), and there are some issues around that arising by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, but I’m hoping that we can do better in beef, for example, where we only have very restricted access – Europeans have given access to others who have negotiated FTAs.

“So I think there is a chance of doing better. Beyond that, it’s the opportunity to work much more with the EU; investments, creating partnerships – including for agri-food industries and other markets,” Mr Jacobi told RadioLIVE.

He goes on to explain the impact this deal could have on New Zealand’s primary exports, and whether the world is becoming less open to free trade.

Earlier this month, Beef+Lamb NZ’s international trade manager Esther Guy-Meakin told RadioLIVE that an inability to trade overseas could affect the jobs of 80,000 people across New Zealand.

“We really need access to open and predictable markets, so any discussion around trade wars is a real concern for us,” she told Rural Exchange.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.

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