New Zealand's wool, leather and textile sectors export $621 million worth of products annually. They face $4 million worth of tariff savings when the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) tariff reductions have fully kicked in. All tariffs on those sector's exports would be eliminated in the 12 TPP countries once the deal was fully implemented.
Woolyarns, a Wingate based textile manufacturer and the biggest company doing what it did in Australasia and had been exporting for 50 years. The industry had been forced to adapt after import tariffs were culled in the late 1990s. Since then the company had become the largest spinner of merino possum blends in the world. According to Woolyarns, any impact of the TTP deal for them would be modest.
Neil Mackie, the managing director of Wingate textiles manufacturer, Woolyarns who also heads up the New Zealand Fur Council, said that it's not going to have an immediate effect on them nor would it lead to Woolyarns doing business in TPP countries it wasn't already. They work in those countries as it is.
A far bigger factor affecting the business was the volatility of New Zealand's currency, the New Zealand dollar is volatile against the US and it can fluctuate by 20 percent a year. He said that fixing the rate would ensure certainty for exporters but there's no way it's going to happen.
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