Trade Answers

Welcome to TradeAnswers, the page where we answer your queries about trade.

New Zealand has long been a champion of more open markets and freer-flowing trade for the benefit of everyone, especially our exporters who must compete against heavy barriers around the world.  Globally, trade has helped lift millions out of poverty.

But trade agreements are hard fought and difficult to conclude. And they’re complex, with many interests at play. The trade debate is important but sometimes it’s hard to cut through the noise.

To help understand the issues we asked the public for their questions and concerns about trade and assembled some of the best people to answer them. 

The questions
We asked the public for their questions and concerns during the two-week period following the New Zealand election:

  • Does free trade mean we have to accept all goods coming into NZ – even the bad ones?
  • I want to support New Zealand retailers as much as possible, but some goods are only available through the likes of Amazon. What are your thoughts on this?
  • What are the benefits of free trade agreements and how does it translate to my own pocket?
  • Are we too reliant on China for trade?
  • How likely is there to be an FTA with India in the near future, and are there any significant concessions that you think we need to make?
  • What’s the latest on Brexit? Is it good or bad for New Zealand?
  • How can we ensure that efforts towards more free trade work for, and not against, other priorities like climate change?
  • Do these trade agreements mean that big corporations can sue the New Zealand government for trying to look after the environment or people’s health?
  • Will President Trump ruin our chances of more trade with the United States?
  • Why do we want an FTA with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan Customs Union? 

Our experts
We’ll be publishing our experts’ answers over the next few weeks. Watch some of the #tradeanswers below.

Stephanie Honey
Stephanie is Associate Director of the New Zealand International Business Forum and provides policy advice to the New Zealand members of the APEC Business Advisory Council.  She is also a trade policy consultant and co-founder of a business offering executive education in trade policy. She served as the New Zealand Agriculture Negotiator in the WTO Doha Round.



Christina Leung
Christina is an economist with NZIER and has ten years’ experience in the public and private sectors, having worked at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and ASB Bank.

Christina holds a Bachelor of Commerce with first class honours in Economics from the University of Auckland, and has been a CFA charter-holder since 2010. Her areas of expertise include economic performance, investment analysis and strategy.


Stephen Jacobi
Stephen is Executive Director of the New Zealand International Business Forum and the managing director of Jacobi Consulting, a consultancy offering strategic advice in international trade, government relations and industry development.  Stephen is a former diplomat, ministerial advisor and chief executive.



Justine Arroll

Justine is the Senior Trade Strategist for Fonterra where she has responsibility for trade strategy in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions.

A former New Zealand diplomat, Justine has held a range of trade policy roles in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She was most recently posted to Washington DC where she was responsible for advocacy and analysis in relation to the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, as well as numerous other bilateral and multilateral trade issues.  Justine has also previously served in the New Zealand High Commission in London and as a trade advisor to the then-Minister of Trade, Tim Groser.