NZ stays unilateral tariff revision till 2015

Tim Groser

New Zealand's Trade Minister Tim Groser and Commerce Minister Simon Power ruled out any possibility of unilateral decline in any tariffs until 2015, adding that tariffs would be reviewed after six years based on the conditions at the ground level.

Currently, New Zealand has been imposing 5% and 10% tariffs, the lowest in the world. Textiles and products that are already manufactured in New Zealand fetch 5% tariffs, while clothing, footwear, and carpet draw 10% tariffs. However, the ministers were tightlipped about the World Trade Organization's next move to strengthen market access through free trade deals.

Historically, New Zealand has been reviewing tariffs since the 1980s for strong and efficient economy of the country, but traditions took a twist when the previous incumbent government held tariffs at 2009 levels until 2011. Still, the country allows most of the articles to enter duty-free in the country.

Groser said: "New Zealand is increasingly opening itself up to international trade and has no plans to increase tariffs, which would increase prices for consumers. We would similarly encourage other nations to resist protectionism as we emerge from the global economic crisis."

Meanwhile, the move gets support from Trade Unions Secretary, Peter Conway, who opined that it would stop further retrenchments.