Agricultural Issues in the Negotiations for an Upgrade of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement
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Agricultural negotiations in international trade meet more difficulties than those in other industries. After the Doha Round, more countries tended to form free trade agreements within their regions rather than seek these through the WTO to identify new opportunities for the liberalisation of agriculture. This is truly important for countries like New Zealand, whose economy relies heavily on exports of primary products. However, in the case of the free trade negotiations between New Zealand and China, some specific trends can be observed from the literature. As the upgrade negotiations between the two countries started in April 2017, this provides a good opportunity to study the case. The research question of this study is “What are the agricultural issues in the negotiations for an upgrade of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement?” This question will here primarily be studied from the point of view of New Zealand. The study finds that the focus of the negotiations can be categorised into four areas: safeguards on dairy, other non-tariff barriers, new areas and commodities to be included in the upgrade and environmental costs. Although the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement has forced New Zealand into a less competitive position in the Chinese market, the action of the upgrade negotiations on the eight-year agreement provides a good opportunity for New Zealand to strive for better trade terms, to get more opportunities for its businesses, and to show the world its determination on agricultural liberalisation.