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EU-New Zealand progressive trade agreement: a gold standard for the future


22 Nov 2023


Global Europe

The European Parliament gave its consent today to the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and New Zealand, unequivocally the most progressive free trade agreement ever concluded by the European Union. 

Crucially for the S&Ds, this agreement has new enforcement tools in the trade and sustainable development chapter that cover labour and environmental matters. This progressive trade agreement also includes dedicated provisions on gender equality and fossil fuel subsidy reform, as well as a co-operation chapter on sustainable food systems and animal welfare. 

Pedro Silva Pereira, S&D lead member on the EU-New Zealand trade deal, said: 

“Today’s overwhelming approval of the most progressive trade agreement ever concluded by the EU is a key milestone for a value-based trade agenda. This is a victory for the S&D Group who had requested, for many years, sanctions as a last resort in the trade and sustainable development chapters. We very much welcome the new enforcement tools in cases of a breach of the Paris Agreement or core ILO Conventions, and we hope this progressive trade agreement will serve as a gold standard for future agreements and reviews.   

“New Zealand is a valuable partner in the strategically important Indo-Pacific region. The EU and New Zealand share many common values and interests and this trade agreement will only bring us closer together. The agreement is about far more than trade volumes.  

“This is a good agreement for businesses, workers and consumers. We now ask both parties to truly unlock the progressive potential of this agreement.” 

Notes to editors: 

The EU-New Zealand FTA is economically balanced. It will eliminate almost all tariffs and offer substantial provisions on services, procurement and digital trade. The FTA protects the full list of EU wines and spirits and 163 of the most renowned EU food geographical indications. The sensitive character of certain European agricultural sectors has also been taken into account through tariff-rate quotas and safeguards.

In the accompanying resolution, also voted today, the European Parliament highlights these achievements, but also makes concrete demands for the implementation of the trade agreement, so that businesses, workers and consumers can enjoy its benefits.


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