US-China trade tensions worry New Zealand exporters

Rural Exchange 01/07/2018

Trade tensions have continued to grow between the United States and China this week.

These tensions have yet to impact New Zealand's primary sector exports, but the chance of that is increasing.

Beef+Lamb NZ’s international trade manager Esther Guy-Meakin says an inability to trade overseas could affect the jobs of 80,000 people across New Zealand.

"We really need access to open and predictable markets, so any discussion around trade wars is a real concern for us."

Ms Guy-Meakin has been in the US recently attempting to uphold relationships and ensure B+LNZ have the most up-to-date information.

There is real concern from US farmers for their ability to sell their product.

"Ultimately it is the producers and consumers who lose out of these trade wars," she says.

On the other side of the coin, representatives welcomed last week's launch of European Union trade talks as a positive step.

Ms Guy-Meakin says the next few years may be a tricky time due to simultaneous Brexit and FTA negotiations.

However, in a trade climate where there is a lot of protectionist discussions occurring, she says the fact that the EU has opened up these FTA talks is very encouraging.

Watch the full interview with Esther Guy-Meakin above.

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