Jordan Small
Executive Director

“In his second high profile US address Winston Peters makes the case for a US-NZ FTA highlighting the economic, geopolitical, strategic and symbolic importance of reaching an agreement.” 


In his second high profile address in the US in less than 12 months New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Rt Hon Winston Peters, continued to push for a free trade deal.

He highlighted not only the economic rationale for both countries but also the geopolitical, strategic and symbolic importance of reaching an agreement.

The address given to a Washington DC gathering at influential US think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), followed on from his more hard hitting Georgetown address in December 2018.

Key excerpts from the speech:

  • “We want to begin by saying to our friends in Washington that the United States’ limited engagement in trade agreements in the Indo-Pacific is of real concern for New Zealand.”
  • “[T]he eventual CPTPP provided the US with a readymade platform to reverse the declining share of US exports to the AsiaPacific region.”
  • “New Zealand is ready to work with the United States to achieve such a breakthrough in our bilateral trade and economic relationship… Such an agreement would be beneficial to the United States and New Zealand in its own right. More so, it would have strategic and symbolic importance far greater than the undoubted mutual economic benefits.”
  • “More importantly it would send a signal into the IndoPacific that the US is in the region to stay and provide substance to the President’s offer for free and fair bilateral trade engagement.”
  • “To conclude, New Zealand believes there exist compelling geopolitical and economic rationales for the United States leadership to shift gears by launching a bilateral trade agreement with New Zealand.”
  • “[O]ne glaring gaps remains in an otherwise exemplary bilateral relationship. We have not made progress on a bilateral trade agreement that we should have. New Zealand wants that to change… We earnestly hope the US shares that ambition. For New Zealand’s ability to play its part in promoting our shared values in our part of the world very much depends upon it.”

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