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US-New Zealand Trade Relations: Alliance Beyond Work
The Development of Trade Relationship

New Zealand is an island nation found at the middle latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere. It is considered as the most physically isolated among industrialized nations. New Zealand depends upon trade and a traditional trading partner was found in Great Britain. But as New Zealand struggles to build new markets and trade relationships, it also found a good alliance with the United States. This made the former increase its economic self-reliance while restructuring its economy. Now, New Zealand is regarded as one of the most responsive nations in international trade.

Only 1% of its people are farmers. Despite this fact, agricultural production was a boom in New Zealand's economy. It belongs to the top ranks of the world when it comes to production of wool, lamb and mutton exports. Believe it or not, sheep in the country outnumbers the people by a ratio of 20 to 1. Cattle are also abundant with around 8 million existing in the place. This makes New Zealand the world's largest dairy product producer.

In addition to its agricultural production, goods manufactured in the country include electronic equipment, light engineering products, textiles, leather goods, rubber, carpets, plastic, pottery and glassware. The mining industry of New Zealand is relatively small and some of the products mined in the area are sand, gravel, rock, limestone and coal. The latter is exported greatly to Japan.

The rivers and lakes of the nation bring forth more than 50 species of freshwater fish. Sport fishing is a natural attraction in the area. The country is also supported by the coastal fishing industry. Forestry products also comprise a significant portion in its income sources.

The sophisticated road system in New Zealand connects its cities and town. Furthermore, most areas are linked by rail and air. This makes its global business reach out to the hearts of other countries. The primary exports such as agricultural products, automobiles, other manufactured goods and petroleum are imported from other countries like Japan, Australia and United States. These trading allies of New Zealand purchases 40% of its exports as well.

The United States and New Zealand were seen as old friends. The US, being a very powerful nation, found it necessary to build equal grounds with small countries such as New Zealand. In fact, it was tracked that in the year 1839, the US government already placed a consular representation in New Zealand. From then on, they started making profits and increased their economies out of each other's wealthy resources.

Major Exports and Imports Between the US and New Zealand

Australia, being the nearest country to New Zealand was a major trading partner for the latter. They have built strong ties in their foreign relations. United States, on the other hand, plays a significant role in New Zealand's economic standing. As evidence to this, the former was considered as the second largest trading partner of New Zealand. Goods and services coming from the United States comprise 13% of New Zealand's imports.

Per the data gathered by the US Census Bureau, a good evidence of trade was seen between US and New Zealand. For the seven-month period ending July 2008, the US exported $1.76 billion worth of goods to New Zealand while imports coming from the latter yielded $2.21 billion. The statistics showed better results than the same month of last year. Other pertinent information regarding the foreign trade between these two were shown in their 2007 trade performance:

  • US Imports from New Zealand. Out of the $3.12 billion imports of US from New Zealand, meat products, poultry and edible animals comprised the top with a total amount of $679 million. Other prime commodities in the top ten are: tobacco, waxes and nonfood oils; dairy products and eggs; wine and related products; lumber and wood; soft beverages and processed coffee; fish and shellfish; bauxite and aluminum; other scientific, medical and hospital equipment; and US goods returned and re-imports. The re-imports amounted to $95.38 million.
  • US Exports to New Zealand. The exports of US to New Zealand for the year 2007 amounted to a total of $2.81 billion. Of this amount, $452.91 million came from civilian aircraft which led the ten products exported. The other nine products in the top ten list are: minimum value shipments; civilian aircraft engines; passenger cars, new and used; civilian aircraft parts; medicinal equipment; telecommunications equipment; computer accessories; other chemicals; and fruits and frozen juices. The latter brought up a total of $53.88 million.
Trade Agreements Between US and New Zealand

The friendship between these two nations was sealed by various trade agreements. They were used to strengthen the bonds between US and New Zealand. Some of the notable pacts signed by the government of the two countries are:

  • US-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. The council behind this trade agreement was formed in 1986. This was signed in pursuit of cultural and economic relationship between the two countries. This further aimed to foster alliance, communication and cooperation. It paved the way to encourage the trade, investment and commercial ties between the countries adapting to specific standards on taxes and its imposition.
  • US-New Zealand Partnership Forum. This is actually more of a discussion or conference between the heads of state and government of the two countries. They have used this type of strategy in order to lengthen their comradeship. The latest of this series of forums was held from September 9 to 11, 2007. They discussed a deeper partnership between US and New Zealand. The latter was given the opportunity to showcase their very best to impress the former. The forum actually focused on matters of partnership and innovation with regional security and economic stability standing at the forefront.
  • The ANZUS Treaty. This was a treaty made not only for US and New Zealand but for Australia as well. This was more of a military alliance which had brought forth military forces from New Zealand and Australia for the United States in support of its so-called Operation Enduring Freedom. This treaty was further invoked when Australia needed justification of its commitment to Afghanistan. New Zealand, on the other hand was seen to be of great defense as its anti-nuclear issue surfaced in 2006.
Trade Conflicts Between US and New Zealand

Despite the strong camaraderie built by these two nations through time, disputes were also seen. They have basically evolved upon some issues on military defense as well as other grounds of trade. Specifically, the conflicts were seen on the following bases:

  • On anti-nuclear issues. New Zealand strongly opposed nuclear representations made by US in its war against Iraq. The New Zealand government even contributed to the resurrection and reconstruction of Iraq after it suffered the battle with United States. However, in 2006 the banning of the American nuclear ships in New Zealand was revoked thus providing for free trade agreements between the two nations.
  • On Vietnam War. The issue sprung from the fact that veterans of New Zealand, alongside with others affected by the war, complained of the herbicide used by the United States known as Agent Orange. According to their claims, they utterly suffered severe danger from the use of this agent just to resolve the conflict on the Vietnam War. The toxic defoliants caused too much rage but in 1984, the manufacturers of Agent Orange paid for the claims of the veterans. In 2004, under the leadership of Prime Minister Helen Clark, apologies were sent to the families affected by these wars. A health committee was created to resolve the dispute and it was found out in 2005, that New Zealand itself contributed a lot to the manufacture of Agent Orange.
What the Future Holds for These Two Nations

Despite the controversies which surged into the global business of the United States and New Zealand, the effort to follow the foundation of a good friendship surpassed the trials. Attempts were seen on both sides to furthermore elevate their alliance into a higher level. The anti-nuclear policy was worked on by US President George Bush and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark. They have resolved the matters pertaining to this, making their trade blossom as they stabilize their positions in world trade. Just recently, on September 15, 2008, a so-called New Zealand-US Climate Change Partnership was created. This was used as a five-year platform for future directions of international business between the two nations. This was used as an affirmation of an ongoing battle in the future.

The US and New Zealand managed to draw the lines of comradeship while others found this a threat to their existing economies in global trade. The pacts signed by the governments of these two countries were manifestations of a habit they could live with for the future generations. They have always believed that they gain strength from each others existence and they will bring along this belief with the hope of upholding a brighter future for their respective nations.

US-New Zealand Trade References

Note: Trade statistics, industry links, economic projections and global business resources on this page have been compiled from hundreds of trade related websites, government guides and resources on the Internet. We provide this valuable information for industrial suppliers, manufacturers, exporters and importers seeking to enter or expland business opportunities in New Zealand.

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Primary Trading Partners

Major Goods Exported

Major Goods Imported

Industrial Outlook

New Zealand is heavily dependent on trade, mainly agricultural products to drive growth. Major industries include food processing, wood and paper products, textiles, machinery, transportation equipment, banking and insurance, mining and tourism.

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