The Geopolitics Behind the New Zealand-UK Free Trade Agreement – The Diplomat

 The Geopolitics Behind the New Zealand-UK Free Trade Agreement – The Diplomat

The new AUKUS defense pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States will go down as one of this year’s biggest foreign policy surprises.

By contrast, the announcement of a free trade agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and the United Kingdom was expected – only the exact timing was uncertain. The U.K. signed a particularly generous agreement with Australia in June, and New Zealand’s diplomats were clearly expecting to secure a very similar deal.

Given that AUKUS demonstrated just how close the Australia-U.K. relationship is – not to mention the expected financial windfall to British defense companies from the submarine deal – this expectation might be surprising. While Australia signed its FTA when Prime Minister Scott Morrison was in the U.K. in June – at the same time that the AUKUS deal was reportedly finalized – there has never been any real suggestion that the defense and trade deals…

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