New Zealand will “intensify” free trade talks with the United Kingdom, as negotiations over market access for New Zealand’s agricultural products inch forward and Australia streaks ahead with its deal. Trade Minister Damien O’Connor says he has been in touch with his British counterpart, Trade Secretary Liz Truss, and the pair have agreed to accelerate negotiations in hope of settling a NZ-UK Free Trade Agreement “in the coming months”. The Minister says chief negotiators meet monthly and the next formal rounds of talks are scheduled for early June and July. But it seems the UK has moved faster in free trade negotiations with Australia and its been reported a deal could be signed at the G7 summit in June. One stumbling block is the removal of “prohibitively high” trade tariffs and access for agricultural products. The UK is New Zealand’s sixth largest trading partner, with two-way trade nearing $6 billion in 2019.
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