Thursday, 02 July 2020 10:04

Parker dropped the EU FTA ball – Nats

Written by  Peter Burke
Opposition trade spokesman Todd McClay says critics should be blaming Trade Minister David Parker for the poor deal offered to NZ agriculture by the EU in our current FTA negotiations. Opposition trade spokesman Todd McClay says critics should be blaming Trade Minister David Parker for the poor deal offered to NZ agriculture by the EU in our current FTA negotiations.

Don’t blame the European Union for its “unacceptable” offer to NZ agriculture in current FTA negotiations, blame David Parker, says National's trade spokesman.

Trade minister in the previous National government and the party’s current trade spokesman, Todd McClay told Rural News it’s a bit late for Parker to be screaming and yelling about the EU’s initial offer and believes that no one should be surprised by it. 

McClay says the EU is like this and if the NZ ag sector is unhappy with the current offer they should be directing their criticism at Trade Minister David Parker, who is responsible for the negotiations. 

He questions whether Parker has been taking the negotiations with the EU seriously enough over the past three years.

“I hope that the Government hasn’t given away some of the things that the EU wants – for instance around geographical indicators,” McClay told Rural News

“I’ve heard they have moved a long way towards the EU’s position on that. I am really concerned now that Parker and his negotiators have given too much to the EU too early.” 

Agriculture was always going to be the sticking point in the negotiations and McClay says the EU will play hardball. He says the EU is adopting a very strong protectionist philosophy, which is at the core of its agricultural policy – despite denials to the contrary. 

McClay says what’s surprised him is that Parker hasn’t been demanding every single day, since he became trade minister, the same treatment the EU gave Canada in their FTA. He says the Canadian deal was a very good deal for Canada and its agriculture sector. 

McClay says it’s up to Parker to salvage the deal and get on the phone and start talking to representatives of all the EU countries and other appropriate people in the trade bloc. He says the deal is salvageable, but that it’s Parker’s job to sort it out. 

“You’ve got to be shooting for the stars. It surprises me that minister Parker hasn’t been to Europe every single month he’s been in office, persuading politicians and officials in the EU that they must deliver what they promised – a comprehensive, high quality FTA.” 

More like this

Meat quota rates remain vital

A jump in the value and volume of New Zealand’s sheepmeat exports to Europe and the UK shows why preserving WTO tariff-rate quotas is so important, claims the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

Parker refuses to bend

Southland Federated Farmers vice president Bernadette Hunt says she finds it “interesting” that Environment Minister David Parker continues to downplay the feedback on the Government’s freshwater regulations.

UK/EU trade scrap worries exporters

Britain's decision to break its deal with the EU over Brexit is creating uncertainty for NZ dairy exporters, according to Malcolm Bailey — chair of the Dairy Companies Association of NZ (DCANZ).

Clock ticking on EU meat deal

Trade experts are warning that time is running out to secure the future of New Zealand red meat exports to the European Union.

Featured

Back the sector that backs NZ

OPINION: The biggest issue currently facing our industry is environmental policy, writes Beef+Lamb NZ chief executive Sam McIvor.

 

National

Lamb price down, but not weak

While lamb prices are starting the new season at around 16% below last year’s levels, they are not outright weak,…

Quota split a major worry

New Zealand meat exporters want the EU and UK to get serious on reaching a deal on post-Brexit quotas.

NZ meat exports at risk

Nearly half of our country’s meat exports are at risk unless there is urgent action by government to allow migrant…

Machinery & Products

JCB releases new loader range

Originally scheduled for a June Fieldays release, which was stymied by the Covid crisis, JCB has recently unveiled its third…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

He's back!

OPINION: This old mutt understands that former Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings has landed himself a new gig back in his…

Utu?

OPINION: Your canine crusader understands that the farmer’s favourite politician – Environment Minister David Parker – not content with implementing…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter