Published: Sun, 12 November 2023
Sean Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, has welcomed the European Parliament’s approval of the EU-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. Highlighting the economic benefits, Kelly notes, “There is potential to increase bilateral trade by 30%, and we expect EU exports to New Zealand to increase by up to 4.5 billion euros per year. Removal of tariffs should save EU businesses around 140 million euros in duties annually.”
Protecting Geographical Indications is a key priority, according to Kelly: “The Agreement will protect the full list of EU wine and spirit Geographical Indications – close to 2000 names. This matters because we consider our Geographical Indications to be our rural intellectual property.”
The sustainability features of the agreement are emphasized by Kelly: “This deal with New Zealand is the first of its kind to include sanctions in case of a material breach of the Paris Climate Agreement. We also agreed that the Paris Agreement will be an essential element of this deal.”
Focusing on agri-food exports, Kelly states, “Farmers on both sides will have improved market opportunities. Tariffs will be eliminated from day one on key EU exports such as pigmeat, wine and sparkling wine, chocolate, sugar confectionary, and biscuits.”
On the digital front, Kelly adds, “The deal contains state-of-the-art rules on digital trade. Our values-based approach to digital is baked into the deal. Personal data is sacrosanct. There are ambitious rules on data flows, facilitating trade in this crucial and growing sector of our economy.”
The Free Trade Agreement received overwhelming support in the European Parliament, with 524 votes in favor, 85 against, and 21 abstentions. Kelly emphasizes that this deal sets a new standard for EU trade agreements, reinforcing the commitment to the Paris Agreement and International Labour Organization standards.
With bilateral trade expected to soar and the deal’s sustainability and digital trade provisions, Kelly concludes, “Today is an important day for the EU and global rule-based trade. This agreement signifies our dedication to progressive, sustainable, and mutually beneficial trade partnerships.”