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The Free Trade Agreement with China has world class provisions to protect our businesses against unfair trade practices, says the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern).
“The FTA has nothing to do with letting cheap imports flood the New Zealand market,” said Bruce Goldsworthy, EMA’s acting chief executive.
“The benefits of the FTA are no one way street.
“We gave away barriers to imports many years ago and there’s no use trying to re-litigate that.
“Many so called FTA’s of other countries have nothing like the degree of precision and care that has gone into ours.
“But to counterbalance the phasing down of remaining duties on goods from China the FTA brings into play comprehensive commercial processes designed to ensure our businesses have some protection from unfair trade practices.
“In fact, if our businesses are placed at unfair risk, the FTA gives them access to more direct trade remedies than they would get under the broader WTO agreement.
“If goods are imported from China at less than they cost to produce, we can apply for anti dumping action, or Temporary Safeguards which could result in steep countervailing duties applied retrospectively.
“Also, to qualify under the agreement, goods must meet precise Rules of Origin based on a change of tariff classification.
“The FTA will facilitate faster, preferential Customs clearance for our goods entering China, and in other ways will make trading easier between our two countries.
“It provides as well for mutual recognition on technical aspects such as standards and includes protection of Intellectual Property and government procurement.
“Overall, we can see other developed countries will be hard pushed to better our FTA, but they will be fast off the mark trying to.
“So let them play catch up.”