Negotiators strike another bad deal for the British meat industry
We’re feeling a sense of deja vu this week after hearing the details of the trade deal with New Zealand. We won’t give you all the detail here but we will dust off the comment we made after the Aussie deal was agreed. Peter Hardwick, BMPA’s Trade Policy Advisor said then that “it’s not the amount of meat by weight that matters it is the amount of high-end, high value cuts that will have a disproportional impact on the marketplace.”
So here’s another deal with another country that massively increases access to the UK market; and in the case of sheep meat fully liberalises it. On the other side of the coin, Peter Hardwick explains: “Given that most New Zealand tariff rates were already set at zero, and UK to NZ trade in our sectors is minimal, I don’t think this is of particular benefit to us”.
It’s easy to strike trade deals when you agree to everything. But if this kind of generous deal is repeated with more countries, the competition our producers will face from cheaper imports, just as their overheads are rising, will push them out of the domestic market and render them uncompetitive on the international market.