New Zealand is facing bigger trade barriers than ever before, particularly by manufacturers trying to add value to exports. The Government should “pull out all the stops” to grow the New Zealand manufacturing sector in a world where protectionism is increasing sharply.
So said Brian Stanley, Chair of the Wood Processors and Manufacturers’ Association (WPMA) when he returned from accompanying the Prime Minister on his recent trade mission to Japan.
The Government’s latest budget acknowledges this discrepancy, and the WPMA welcomes the trade boost of $91.3 million over four years announced today, as they welcome the additional $74.6 million funding for Callaghan Innovation to grow business research and development.
Both measures have the potential to help lift the country’s export manufacturing competitiveness.
The WPMA firmly believes the New Zealand Government must focus its international trade efforts on scrapping or seriously limiting other countries’ massive subsidy systems if we are to compete successfully. The recent increase in the VAT differential between logs and value-add wood imports into China is an excellent example. "This will likely lead to yet higher log prices in New Zealand," says Mr Stanley.
“New Zealand has long been an advocate for free and fair international trading, and the need for us to boost our global leadership on this has never been greater,” comments Dr Jon Tanner, WPMA Chief Executive.