As part of the 2017 Regional D.C. Fly-In we were honored to be hosted at the New Zealand Embassy for an international trade policy reception. Attendees heard from New Zealand Ambassador Timothy Groser and Congressman Derek Kilmer on the importance of trade, good trade policy, and diplomacy.
New Zealand was a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and is now part of the ‘TPP 11’, the remaining countries in the agreement that are moving forward with a trade deal without the US. A recent study explored the projected benefits of an 11 member trade pact. In addition to removing the US as a signatory of the TPP, the Trump administration has recently indicated that it will seek to renegotiate the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a trilateral trade pact with Canada and Mexico.
New Zealand has a very export driven competitive economy, with exports accounting for about 30% of GDP. In addition to primary production, services and manufacturing are leading industries. Tourism, film making, and wine production are also notable economic drivers. This economic makeup is very similar to Spokane, where manufacturing and services, both health and professional, are major industries. In 2014, exports in the Spokane metro area accounted for $2.2B, which is 8.4% of our GDP.
With Eastern Washington and New Zealand both being known for their wine production, the industry was highlighted at the reception with a tasting of select wines from Washington and New Zealand. Washington wineries included L’Ecole No. 41, Abeja, Long Shadows, Pepper Bridge, and Woodward Canyon, and were accompanied by New Zealand wines. Additionally, wine from GSI members Barrister Winery, Cougar Crest Winery, and Arbor Crest Winery was served at the reception.
For more information about New Zealand as an export market, take a look at the Country Commercial Guide of the US Commercial Service. And visit our international trade site to learn about our efforts support Spokane regional exports.