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November 2018: Chief Negotiators meeting in Lima, Peru
October 2018: Round 7 held in Mexico City, Mexico
September 2018: New Zealand hosted Round 6 in Auckland on 22-28 September. The New Zealand negotiating team met with stakeholders during the round to provide an update on progress in negotiations
July 2018: during the 2018 Pacific Alliance Summit, Trade Ministers met to take stock of progress to date and reaffirmed the objective of concluding negotiations in 2018
July 2018: Round 5 held in Mexico City, Mexico
June-July 2018: Pacific Alliance public outreach seminars with Latin America New Zealand Business Council, Latin America Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence, and Export New Zealand
May 2018: Round 4 held in Ottawa, Canada
March-April 2018: second call for public submissions
March 2018: Trade Ministers from most countries met in Santiago to discuss progress in the negotiations
March 2018: Round 3 held in Santiago, Chile
January 2018: Round 2 held in the Gold Coast, Australia
October 2017: Round 1 held in Cali, Colombia
September 2017: First meeting of Chief Negotiators in Lima, Peru
September-October 2017: First call for public submissions
June 2017: Negotiations launched at 2017 Pacific Alliance Summit in Cali, Colombia
Progress to date
Free trade agreement negotiations with the Pacific Alliance are progressing at pace with the objective of concluding negotiations as soon as possible. Seven negotiating rounds have taken place since the first round in October 2017.
New Zealand hosted Round six in Auckland, where negotiators also met with interested stakeholders.
New Zealand’s objectives for a Pacific Alliance agreement include securing commitments from Chile, Mexico, and Peru that build on existing agreements (including the CPTPP); a high quality and comprehensive first free trade agreement with Colombia; and to reflect progressive trade principals while the Government consults New Zealanders on the development of a Trade for All agenda.
Generally good progress is being made against these objectives.
Significant progress has been made in many areas of the ‘rules’ negotiations, particularly in those areas where we are able to capitalise on shared free trade agreement history from other agreements.
This includes progress on establishing a framework to reduce technical barriers to trade between our countries; rules to support government procurement opportunities for New Zealand businesses in Pacific Alliance markets; the types of cooperation activities that could take place under the free trade agreement; how the agreement can improve SMEs’ and women’s involvement in international trade and investment; rules to facilitate business travel/visas; customs procedures and trade facilitation rules; rules to proscribe anti-competitive business conduct in our jurisdictions; and ensuring transparency in the development of laws and regulations in each country.
Among proposals New Zealand has put on the table are:
- our opposition to investor-state dispute settlement;
- rules to address non-tariff barriers that impact goods trade;
- proposals on specific trade and environment issues (including climate change, circular economy policy, and disciplines on environmentally-harmful subsidies);
- a framework for cooperation on indigenous issues and other proposals that reflect New Zealand’s evolving progressive Trade for All agenda; and
- an agreement-wide exception in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi.
From New Zealand’s perspective, goods market access (tariff) negotiations still have some way to go to reach the level of ambition that we need to see in the free trade agreement.
Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, and New Zealand’s negotiators have been clear that New Zealand is expecting the Pacific Alliance to eliminate tariffs, reflecting the commitments Alliance countries have made to other free trade agreement partners.
Certain agricultural products, however, are highly sensitive for some Pacific Alliance countries.
Progress is also being made in other market areas: services and investment, government procurement, temporary entry (visas for businesspeople), and financial services.
Next steps after conclusion
Once an agreement is reached, it will be made public along with a National Interest Analysis. The agreement will also undergo parliamentary treaty examination, be ratified by the Government and ultimately enter into force.
If you have any other questions about the negotiations, contact us at: