US NZ Council Newsletter December 4, 2015

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US | NZ Council Newsletter
Presented by the
US | NZ Council
December 4, 2015

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All of us at the US|NZ Council extend our warm wishes and eternal thanks and gratitude to Ambassador Mike Moore as he and Yvonne return to New Zealand after his highly successful tenure here in Washington, DC. As a partner to the US|NZ Council, Ambassador Moore has been second-to-none. We are proud to have been his friend and ally. His contributions will live on. US – New Zealand relations are the best in history – due in large part to the best Ambassador New Zealand has ever had in Washington, DC. Ambassador Moore, Yvonne, we wish you both all the best on your new adventures. Thank you for your support and friendship.

Ambassador Moore’s letter to the Embassy is here: Michael Moore’s Washington Sign-off

 

Trade

 Froman steps up Ways and Means TPP meetings

December 3, 2015

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has been busy this week trying to gin up support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Capitol Hill. On Monday, Froman met with House Ways and Means Democrats. On Tuesday, he met with new Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert. And on Wednesday, he got an audience with Ways and Means Republicans. He appeared with New Zealand’s Acting Ambassador Carl Worker who said small businesses need to play a big role in winning TPP approval in Congress and said the TPP “specifically looks forward to the 21st century.”

Read more: Politico

 

NZ High Commissioner: TPP isn’t perfect, but it’s an important stepping stone

December 1, 2015

Calling it the largest, most comprehensive, and most important trade agreement in twenty five years, New Zealand’s high commissioner to Canada Simon Tucker, penned an op-ed article in the Globe and Mail advocating for approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.   Commissioner Tucker said the TPP opens increased access into Asian markets for Canadian farmers and businesses and said it is a tremendous opportunity for food producing countries such as Canada and New Zealand.

Read More: The Globe and Mail

 

South Korea Ratifies FTAs with China, New Zealand, Vietnam

December 1, 2015

The South Korean National Assembly passed bills ratifying free trade agreements (FTAs) with New Zealand, China, and Vietnam. The FTA with China was signed on June 1. Given its expected effect of increasing South Korean economic growth prospects, the government had been applying a significant amount of pressure in Parliament for its ratification. Subject to China’s subsequent ratification, the agreement could now come into effect by the end of this year.

Read More: Tax News

New Zealand, EU trade deal may take year or more for approval, NZ leader says

December 1, 2015

A free trade deal that New Zealand is negotiating with the European Union is likely to take at least a year to get approval from all EU member states, Prime Minister John Key said on Tuesday. “The process is now that the European Commission will go through the mandating process – that’s likely to take all of 2016 and probably most of 2017 to get through the 28 member states, but we’re very hopeful for completion of the free trade agreement with Europe,” Prime Minister Key said at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his visit to Berlin.

Read More: Reuters

 

US liquor, wine groups supporting TPP

December 1, 2015

The U.S. liquor and wine industries are raising their glasses to an expansive Asia-Pacific trade deal they argue will help their exporters. The Distilled Spirits Council said they will support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact, joining the Wine Institute to highlight provisions in the deal that will boost growth for them and the broader economy.

Read more: The Hill

 

Farm issues could scupper free trade deal with EU: U.S.

December 1, 2015

 Differences between the United States and the European Union over issues such as genetically modified crops and hormone-treated beef could scupper a free trade deal, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Tuesday. The European Union and the United States hope to seal a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that would encompass a third of world trade and nearly half of global gross domestic product. The two sides have made limited progress after 11 negotiating rounds, however, and food and farming issues tend to be among the thorniest in trade negotiations.

Read More: Reuters

 

Obama to get TPP deal through Congress, US ambassador to NZ says

November 27, 2015

 President Barack Obama will get the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal through Congress, US ambassador to New Zealand Mark Gilbert says. Mr. Obama has said he’s confident the US Congress will ratify the 12-nation TPP, which aims to liberalize 40 percent of the world’s economy. The free trade deal is facing stiff opposition from many Democrats and unexpected resistance from Republicans. Ambassador Gilbert told The Nation program today it is important for Mr. Obama to get the deal through Congress.

Read more: 3 News

Transcript of Ambassador Gilbert interview here

 

TPP signing likely to be in NZ

November 19, 2015

The official signing ceremony for the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is likely to be in New Zealand next year — at Trade Minister level. Had it been elevated to leader level, US President Barack Obama would be coming to New Zealand, as he has indicated he would like to do before his term ends in January 2017. President Obama chaired a meeting of leaders and trade ministers of the twelve TPP countries, including Prime Minister John Key and Trade Minister Tim Groser, at the recent APEC meeting in Manila.

Read More: NZ Herald

 

APEC summit: Obama backs Trans Pacific Partnership

November 19, 2015

The Trans Pacific Partnership is going to pay off for decades to come, President Barack Obama said. The US President was speaking today at a meeting in Manila of the 12 member countries including Prime Minister John Key. Mr. Obama was speaking at the first leaders’ meeting of the 12 TPP countries since the deal was concluded last month. The deal will be signed before February 3, which is the end of the US Congress 90-day review period of the deal.

Read More: NZ Herald

 

United States- New Zealand

 

Pacific cable deal to link New Zealand and Hawaii

December 2, 2015

A new Pacific cable is finally coming to New Zealand. Bluesky Pacific Group, a subsidiary of Spain’s Amper SA, has contracted Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks to lay the cable between New Zealand and Hawaii by 2018. Called the Moana Cable, the system will span more than 9,700 km, touching down at and also service the Cook Islands and Samoa, providing capacity and redundancy in the region, Alcatel-Lucent announced. Several plans have come and gone to lay a new cable to serve New Zealand, which currently relies heavily on the Southern Cross network, owned by Spark, Verizon and SingTel. The plug was pulled on one plan, backed by Australia’s TPG and New Zealand’s Kordia, in 2010 and on another by Pacific Fibre in 2012.

Read More: ZDNet

 

US mulls over navy ship visit to NZ

November 28, 2015

Relations between the US and New Zealand are the best they’ve ever been but the US is still mulling over an invitation to send a Navy ship to visit, says the US ambassador to New Zealand, Mark Gilbert. New Zealand’s navy is marking its 75th anniversary in 2016 and the US Navy has been invited to attend, potentially ending a 33-year hiatus of visits due to New Zealand’s nuclear-free policy. Ambassador Gilbert says the invitation is being considered “at high levels” of government in the US.

Read more: 3 News NZ

New Zealand

 Fonterra to build $120m cheese plant to take on Asia

December 2, 2015

Fonterra has announced it will rebuild its cheese factory in northern Victoria to take advantage of new trade agreements with Japan, South Korea and China. The investment comes after a fire ravaged the factory in Stanhope, 200 kilometers north of Melbourne, last year. Fonterra, a New Zealand-based co-operative, is negotiating with its insurer about recouping some of the rebuild costs. It has also received cash through the Victorian government’s $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund.

Read more: Sidney Morning Herald

 

NZ to commit up to $200m on climate change

December 1, 2015

New Zealand will commit up to $200 million to support countries’ climate change efforts – and $20 million toward ground-breaking research to slash agricultural greenhouse gases. Prime Minister John Key announced the new funding at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21), where close to 200 nations are meeting to thrash out a new agreement to tackle global emissions. Mr. Key told delegates New Zealand would provide up to $200 million for climate-related support over the next four years, the majority of which will benefit Pacific nations. This would build on the $65 million New Zealand has already spent over the last three years to help Pacific Nations secure reliable and clean energy.

Read More: NZ Herald

Climate of Hope: Q&A with Tim Groser

November 25, 2015

In the first of a series of Q&A interviews with leading figures on climate change, science reporter Jamie Morton talks to Tim Groser. Minister Tim Groser said it was going to be a tough negotiation, but that he expects this to be considerable different than the Copenhagen Summit in 2009. And that the New Zealand team will be actively involved in negotiations across the whole field of Climate issues, climate finance and carbon markets, to agriculture, land-use, and the legal structure of the agreement.

Read More: NZ Herald

 

 

Business

AirlineRatings.com names Air New Zealand as Airline of the Year for 2016

December 3, 2015

For the third consecutive year, Air New Zealand has been named Airline of the Year for 2016 by AirlineRatings.com, the world’s leading safety and product rating review website. The annual awards acknowledged Air New Zealand for its award winning in-flight innovations, record-breaking financial performance, operational safety, environmental leadership and motivation of its staff that have stamped the airline an industry trendsetter. The airline was also awarded Best Premium Economy Class and Best Economy Class.

Read More: News.com.au

 

Education brings record export revenues for New Zealand

December 3, 2014

 The number of overseas students studying in New Zealand in the January-August period jumped by 13 percent year, bringing record revenues for education, a report said on Thursday. According to the report issued by Education New Zealand, India, China and the Philippines led the increases in international student numbers, which totaled to 104,418 in the first eight months of this year, almost 12,000 more than the same period last year.

Read More: Business-Standard

 

Gallagher acquires New Zealand brokerage

December 1, 2015

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has acquired Reid Manson Ltd., an insurance brokerage in Timaru, New Zealand, a Gallagher statement said. David Reid, Reid Manson’s founder and managing director, and his associates will continue to operate from their current locations in Timaru and Ashburton, New Zealand, under the direction of Carl O’Shea, CEO of Crombie Lockwood (NZ) Ltd., an Arthur J. Gallagher company, according to Monday’s statement.

Read More: Business Insurance

Sports

 

NZ womens sevens chase another title

December 3, 2015

New Zealander will play Russia, Brazil and France in pool play tonight. They welcome some new faces to the fold this year, including Niall Williams, the sister of All Black Sonny Bill, and their captain Sarah Goss is excited for what lies ahead. “We’ve had a long pre-season window, we’ve been training hard and we’re just keen to get into it this season. Last season New Zealand’s Portia Woodman was the series’ top try scorer with 52 and amassed 260 points in total.

Read More: Radio NZ