Baucus Promotes Montana Trade with Leader of New Zealand
Senator Meets with Prime Minister, Top Lawmakers to Press for American Trade Opportunities with Pacific Economies
Posted: Monday, August 20, 2012
Posted: Monday, August 20, 2012
(Wellington, New Zealand) - Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus met with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and top lawmakers today to promote opportunities for Montana as the United States and New Zealand work together to negotiate a strong new free trade agreement (FTA) in the Pacific region.
Baucus is in New Zealand this week as talks continue on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)- a new free trade agreement that provides the United States with a critical opportunity to break down barriers that have made it difficult to sell Montana products, like beef, in some of the world's most important markets.
"The Pacific region is the place to compete when it comes to growing Montana exports around the world and growing jobs here at home. When the playing field is level, Montana's farmers, ranchers and entrepreneurs can compete with the best in the world. Strengthening our relationship with partners like New Zealand will help us make sure everyone else on the field plays by the rules as we work to open new markets in the Pacific," Baucus said.
New Zealand shares many common interests with Montana and has proven to be an important partner for the United States in negotiating the best deal for American workers and businesses in the TPP negotiations. Baucus' goals in New Zealand are to strengthen that relationship and find new ways the United States and New Zealand can work together to ensure the TPP is a success for jobs in both countries.
New Zealand's current Ambassador to the United States, Michael Moore, traveled to Montana as part of Baucus' 2010 Ambassadors Tour. While in Bozeman, Moore presented Helena-native Dan Ellison with the New Zealand Special Services Medal for his rescue and recovery efforts following a 1979 New Zealand plane crash. And New Zealand's previous Ambassador, Roy Ferguson and his wife Dawn, traveled to Montana as part of Baucus' 2008 Ambassadors Tour.
• The goal of the Trans-Pacific Partnership FTA is to promote growth and job creation in each of the member countries by making it cheaper and easier to trade goods and services among the members. The TPP would work much like the FTAs Baucus has been instrumental in pushing through Congress in the past, except instead of just two countries participating, the TPP would have multiple members.
• Negotiations to determine the exact parameters of the TPP first began in 2005, and are ongoing today. Baucus has been pushing for strong U.S. participation since beginning, and has urged the White House to fight for the best deal for American workers and businesses.
• Other countries currently participating in the negotiations include: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Canada and Mexico are likely to join the negotiations shortly, and Japan is currently considering whether to join. If Japan joins the talks along with Mexico and Canada, TPP countries would account for 40 percent of the trade of U.S. goods.
• Once the negotiation-phase is completed, the TPP will need to be approved by Congress before entering into force. As chairman of the Finance Committee, with sole jurisdiction over international trade, Baucus will be key to getting the negotiated TPP passed through Congress.
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