New Zealand, UK Reach Historic Trade Deal

New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle to a historic free trade deal, which they say will accelerate the COVID-19 economic recoveries of both countries.

According to the governments, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) cuts costs for exporters and businesses and provides greater access to each of their job markets.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described FTA as “one of our best deals ever.”

“This deal serves New Zealand’s economy and exporters well as we reconnect, rebuild and recover from COVID-19, and look forward into the future, Ardern said in a statement.

New Zealand estimates that their goods to the UK will increase up to 40%.

According to New Zealand Trade Minister Damien O’Connor, FTA is also their first bilateral trade deal to include specific provisions on climate change.

Under the deal, the UK has agreed to take steps to eliminate subsidies on fossil fuels, as well as new prohibitions to combat over-fishing, O’Conner said.

FTA will end tariffs as high as 10% on UK goods, including clothing, ships, and buses, and will create new opportunities for their tech and services companies, according to the UK government.

“It is good for both our economies, boosting jobs and growth as we build back better from the pandemic. We already share deep ties of history, culture and values, and I look forward to the next chapter in our friendship,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

Both countries have also agreed to commit to a mobility dialogue outside of the FTA to consider how to further deepen people-to-people links.

New Zealand is the second country, after Australia, to secure a new free trade deal with the United Kingdom since Brexit.

The agreement came after 16 months of talks.

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