262 Ministerial Submission to Hayden by Nutter

Canberra, 15 March 1983

CER

We believe that signature of the CER Agreement as it now stands is in the Australian national interest for the following reasons:-

  • The agreement will in time serve to make both economies more efficient besides promoting complementarity and rationalisation.
  • It will lead to the expansion of trade between the two countries which is already of the order of $1.8 billion (New Zealand is our third largest export market and our largest market for manufactures). NAFTA arrangements have in recent years become increasingly restrictive.
  • It will lead to greater co-operation between the two countries in international economic negotiations including greater scope for joint marketing.
  • Enhanced economic benefits flowing from the agreement will strengthen the geopolitical position of both countries in the South Pacific region especially through increased aid, investment, tourism and greater trade.
  • The agreement meets specific Australian trade and industrial interests, e.g. in encouraging Australian industry to be more competitive internationally.
  • It complements the free labour market which has long existed between the two countries.
  • To the degree to which the agreement leads to a revival in the New Zealand economy it may diminish the flow of unemployed New Zealanders to Australia in the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.
  • The present New Zealand Government would be bitterly disappointed should the agreement not be signed and this could affect co-operation in other areas of the relationship.
  • The agreement will reinforce the special relationship which has existed between the two countries since 1840 and which has been given visible form in the ANZAC relationship in World Wars I and II, as well as in the 194 Australia - New Zealand Agreement and our common membership of the ANZUS and ANZAM agreements.1

[NAA: A1838, 37011/19/18, xxxvi]