By Alex Tarrant
Eradication of trade barriers for dairy products will be included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement, but it may be agreed that they can be phased out over a decade, Prime Minister John Key says.
The next round of TPP talks is set to be held in Auckland in December. Key said leaders of the nations involved in the TPP talks had made an ambitious agreement to have a text finalised by October 2013. He said issues in future negotiating rounds were "not going to get any easier."
Key told his post-Cabinet press conference on Monday afternoon that New Zealand was demanding a high quality agreement.
"We're not prepared to see dairy excluded," he said.
However it was likely barriers to dairy trade would be phased out over a period of ten years or so.
Key has just returned from Cambodia where he attended the East Asia Summit. At the summit it was announced New Zealand would be joining another set of free trade talks, this time the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which includes Japan, South Korea and India.
Key said an "anaemic" growth outlook for Europe meant "Asia is where the growth will be for the next couple of decades."
New Zealand was "well placed to take advantage of that growth," he said.