US NZ Council Newsletter

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Newsletters | No Comments




TPP text could drop next week
October 15, 2015
TPP countries could release the final text of the agreement as soon as next Tuesday — the day after elections in Canada — where the trade deal has proven to be a politically charged issue. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported, citing unnamed Canadian officials, which Canada had requested a quick conclusion to the process of preparing the text for public release, but lawyers among the 12 governments were still haggling over the details.

Read more: Politico

Biggest Trade Deal Ever Has 12 Political Hurdles to Clear
October 15, 2015

After five years and 19 formal rounds of talks, the largest regional trade agreement in history was a reason for celebration in the 12 countries involved — which account for 40 percent of the world’s economy. Markets will be expanded, tariffs and duties lowered or erased, and the goal of free trade furthered in a large part of the world. Still, ratification prospects in each of the countries remains unclear.  Outcome in the U.S. Congress is uncertain.  New Zealand is likely to approve the pact. Businesses seeking to take advantage of the deal — which could have benefits and fallout for automakers, cattle and dairy farmers and drug manufacturers — will have to wait for months and possibly even years before they will see its effects.

Read More: Bloomberg

EU free trade deal with New Zealand takes step towards reality
October 15, 2015

A free trade deal between New Zealand and the European Union has taken a significant step towards reality, with the EU outlining plans for an agreement in a new strategy. News of a potential deal comes a week after a significant trade win for New Zealand, as a final deal was reached on the long-awaited Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  The EU Commission released its new trade and investment strategy early Thursday morning, with New Zealand singled out as a country where it wanted to “open the door to new negotiations” for a free trade deal. However, dairy and other agricultural sectors may face an uphill battle to win significant concessions; the strategy notes that any negotiations with New Zealand would need to take into account the EU’s “agricultural sensitivities”.

Read More: Stuff

Clinton ‘hoped’ TPP would be great
October 14, 2015

The Democratic debate night didn’t yield quite as much trade fireworks as expected, but the Trans-Pacific Partnership at least got a nod from CNN moderator Anderson Cooper and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. Clinton, in arguing that she has been consistent in her views, said she has “always fought for the same values and principles.” “Take the trade deal,” she said, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which she now opposes. “I did say when I was secretary of state three years ago that I hoped it would be the gold standard.”

Read more: Politico

Philippines’ Aquino wants to join Trans-Pacific Partnership
October 14, 2015

Philippine President Benigno Aquino said on Wednesday he wanted the country to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) since most countries that signed up for the trade pact were existing allies. The main proponent of the trade pact, the United States, is one of the Philippines’ biggest trading partners, along with other members, such as Japan and Vietnam, Aquino said. The United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim countries agreed earlier this month on the TPP, which aims to free up commerce in 40 percent of the world’s economy, by reducing or eliminating tariffs on almost 18,000 categories of goods.

Read More:  Reuters

Trade pact may not come up in House until after 2016 election
October 14, 2015

President Barack Obama’s signature trade deal – the Trans-Pacific Partnership – may not get taken up by the GOP-run Congress until after the 2016 elections, senior Republican and Democratic aides said Wednesday. Mike Sommers, chief of staff for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said at a Ripon Society meeting that Congress was unlikely to move on the massive trade package until a lame-duck session more than a year from now. One attendee said the senior GOP staffers’ message was “TPP is dead until the lame duck.”

Read more: Politico

TPP: A partnership forged face-to-face
October 14, 2015

Think what you will about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But do consider the process of reaching a historic trade agreement. After five years of intense negotiations, trade representatives from twelve nations emerged with an agreement that would impact 40 percent of the global economy. TPP negotiations began in earnest in March 2010. They included 19 rounds of formal discussions, followed by more than a dozen meetings for chief negotiators. The majority of conversations were conducted face-to-face, over the course of 200 days. In the United States, there were more than 1,150 meetings regarding TPP held between the Obama administration and members of Congress. According to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, these meetings have allowed elected leaders to review transcripts, ask questions and in some cases, preview future negotiations.

Read More: The Hill

Former US officials urge Congress to pass TPP
October 14, 2015

More than two dozen former top U.S. officials are urging Congress to support the TPP.  The group of 26 former Asia-focused trade, economic, diplomatic, security and intelligence officials sent a letter on Wednesday to House and Senate leadership calling the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a “concrete manifestation of our rebalancing strategy toward Asia and a strategic necessity for the United States.” But the expansive agreement, completed last week in Atlanta after five years of talks, faces potentially stiff headwinds from congressional lawmakers in both parties.

Read More:  The Hill

AFL-CIO Trumka calls for immediate release of TPP text
October 14, 2015

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote a letter to President Obama arguing that stakeholders, lawmakers and the American public need to see the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to start what is expected to be a long process of evaluating the deal brokered by the United States and 11 other nations. House and Senate Democrats have made similar appeals since the pact was brokered a week ago during a final round of negotiations in Atlanta.

Read More: The Hill

Economists analyze TPP impact on U.S. meat
October 14, 2015

While full details have not been released, the recently signed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement should be a plus for the U.S. livestock industry, according to two economists. Steve Meyer and Len Steiner wrote in their Daily Livestock Report Oct. 9 there are several indicators the agreement should benefit livestock producers. Meyer and Steiner said once more details are released about the agreement, more will be known about which tariff lines are affected. Japan already has a free trade agreement in place with Australia, which is the biggest competition for U.S. beef in the Japanese market.

Read More: Iowa Farmer

Business Groups Withholding TPP Support on Lack of Details
October 8, 2015

Major U.S. business groups, citing internal frictions and uncertainty over the details of President Barack Obama’s 12-nation Pacific trade deal, are withholding their support for now, hobbling the administration’s early efforts to win congressional backing. With big pharmaceutical companies and several other major industries disappointed by the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the broader business coalitions that have long backed the talks say they first must consult with their members. Major groups now on the fence include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable.

Read More: Wall Street Journal

Moody’s sees credit benefit for all TPP nations
October 12, 2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement will deliver a positive credit benefit to its 12 member nations, according to Moody’s Investors Service — especially for those in Asia. While full details of the agreement have yet to be published, greater access to the US for their goods should help to make Asian countries the biggest beneficiaries in GDP-relative terms, it says. Australia and New Zealand’s farmers will also benefit from increased market access and lower tariffs on their goods, the report says.

Read More: NBR

New Zealand

New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency proposes “hefty” pay increase
October 15, 2016

The local government ‘bond bank’ is quietly trying to increase the salaries of its directors, without directly informing the councils which own it. Wellington councils, which are key shareholders of the organization are furious they were not consulted on the “hefty” increases. The New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA) specializes in financing the New Zealand local government sector. It was established to raise debt on behalf of local authorities on terms that are more favorable to them than if they raised the debt directly.

Read More: Stuff


New Zealand Dollar Punishes the Pound as Rate Cut Expectations Die
October 15, 2015

The New Zealand dollar has surged against the pound sterling and other majors as currency markets adjust to the idea that further interest rate cuts at the Bank of New Zealand will be unlikely. The view was solidified on Thursday the 15th October after the Manufacturing PMI for September at the highest levels since February this year at 55.4.

Read More:  Pound

Chinese firm in legal bid to overturn New Zealand govt land sale decision
October 15, 2015

A Chinese-owned food company said Thursday it will challenge the New Zealand government’s rejection of a proposed farm purchase in court. Pure 100 Farm Ltd, a subsidiary of Shanghai Pengxin, said it would seek a judicial review of the government’s decision last month to decline its application to buy the 13,800–hectare Lochinver Station in the central North Island. Terry Lee, director of Milk New Zealand, also a subsidiary of Shanghai Pengxin, said the aim of the review was to obtain clarity on the “counterfactual” requirement used to assess sales of farmland larger than five hectares to overseas buyers.

Read More: China Daily

Moody’s Upbeat on New Zealand Government Surplus
October 14, 2015

News the New Zealand government balanced its books for the first time since 2008 was well received by Moody’s Investors Service. On Wednesday the government said its core surplus NZ$414 million (US$281 million) versus a deficit of NZ$2.8 billion in the prior financial year due to marginally stronger-than-expected tax revenue. The surplus is a political coup for the governing National Party, which in 2011 pledged it would balance the books in the 2014-15 financial year.

Read More:  Wall Street Journal

New Zealand Manufacturing Sector Continued to Expand in September
October 14, 2015

New Zealand’s manufacturing sector continued to expand in September, boosted by production and new orders. The BNZ-Business NZ seasonally adjusted performance of manufacturing index rose to 55.4 in September, 0.3 point higher than August. It was the highest level of activity since February. A reading above 50 generally indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.

Read more: NASDAQ


France name team to face New Zealand in Rugby World Cup quarter-final
October 15, 2015

Morgan Parra was named at scrum-half and the center Mathieu Bastareaud was dropped from the starting lineup as Philippe Saint-André made three changes for France’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand on Saturday.

Read More: Guardian

Team New Zealand gets first sail in Bermuda
October 15, 2015

Team New Zealand are preparing for the first sail on the Bermuda waters which will host the 2017 America’s Cup. This week the fleet of America’s Cup challengers get a taste of what is to come as they resume racing in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, which Emirates Team New Zealand currently leads by seven points.

Read More: Radio NZ