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UK-New Zealand trade deal to “slash tariffs” and “increase competitiveness” of British businesses overseas

Tariffs on a huge range of products and services could be slashed following the announcement of a new UK-New Zealand trade deal.

The news comes after the latest round of trade talks between both countries ended “with good progress towards a final deal”.

According to the Department for International Trade (DIT), a wide range of British products – including chocolate, gin, buses, and clothes – could be exported to New Zealand tariff-free, while New Zealand products – such as wine, food and drink – could be sold tariff-free in UK shops under the new regime.

By removing tariffs of “up to 10 per cent”, both countries will be incentivised to trade internationally with one another, the Government said.

According to the latest statistics, the UK fashion industry exported around £30 million of clothes to New Zealand last year, while approximately £133 million of cars were sold to New Zealand markets over the same period. Both of these industries, in addition to the food and drinks industry, will benefit by slashing tariffs on goods.

Total trade between the UK and New Zealand reached £2.3 billion last year, but this is expected to grow substantially following the ratification of the agreement.

Commenting on the trade deal, Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss said: “We are working round 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.”

Welcoming the deal, Dominic Goudie, Head of International Trade, the Food & Drink Federation, said: “We hope to see the UK conclude an ambitious trade deal with New Zealand 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 including chocolate, coffee, biscuits and soft drinks, where UK sales in New Zealand are currently £10 million each year.”

The deal would also be an “important step” towards the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Government added.

The market – worth an estimated £9 trillion each year – includes countries such as Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Japan and is home to more than 500 million residents.

Ascension to the partnership would cut 99.9 per cent of tariffs and reduce red tape, significantly increasing the competitiveness of British businesses overseas.

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