Beyond trade: The European Union - New Zealand Free Trade Agreement
The 2022 announcement of the European Union- New Zealand Free Trade Agreement was seminal for both sides. For New Zealand, the deal is projected to be worth up to an extra NZ$1.8 billion per annum by 2035. What is less evident is the motivation for securing the deal for Europe – New Zealand is only the EU’s 50th most important trading partner and accounts for 0.2% of its total trade. This article outlines three major benefits for the EU. Firstly, it symbolises that the EU’s neoliberal trading agenda is continuing in the face of perceived increased protectionism. Second, the deal includes a seminal clause of holding each partner to account in climate change responsibilities – a detail that should garner support from EU citizens. Finally, closer EU cooperation with New Zealand may add to the EU’s legitimacy in the Indo-Pacific.
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