World News

National welcomes release of TPP agreement text

National welcomes release of TPP agreement text

The 11 TPP countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The dairy industry alone is expected to save almost $86 million in tariffs and the country's exporters would save about $200m in reduced tariffs to just Japan once the reductions are fully implemented.

Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo said the landmark agreement would eliminate more than 98 per cent of tariffs in a trade zone with a combined GDP of some $13 trillion.

Some $5.5 billion of goods and services were exported to those four countries past year and New Zealand paid nearly $300 million in import taxes to get the products to market.

The big industry winners are dairy (expected to save $88.5 million in reduced tariffs) meat, including beef and lamb ($57 million), and Horticulture ($25 million).

The analysis suggests if New Zealand chooses not to sign the CPTPP, it would result in a $183 million decline in GDP as "New Zealand's place in regional supply chains would be eroded", and competitor countries exports would be cheaper.

"CPTPP has become more important because of the growing threats to the effective operation of the World Trade Organisation rules", New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker said on Wednesday.

It's not all good news though - the NIA outlines some areas where New Zealand would be disadvantaged by entering the deal and generate potential costs.

New Zealand has already negotiated a side letter with Australia to exempt investors from either country invoking the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, which the Labour-led government elected last September vowed to roll back before throwing its support behind the deal.

Although New Zealand has never been the subject of an ISDS case, the analysis says the CPTPP will increase the number of foreign investors "and therefore the risk that New Zealand may face an ISDS claim in the future".

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"The suspensions mean that prior expensive changes to New Zealand's intellectual property law and our medicine-buying agency Pharmac no longer apply", Mr Parker says. "More trade means more growth and more growth means more jobs for the middle class". "That's a significant increase in a country where 620,000 jobs are dependent on exports".

He revealed also that other countries are seeking side letters "on non-ISDS issues", with New Zealand and other countries on other aspects of the CPTPP, although none were seeking exemptions "in a way that is materially adverse to our interests".

The deal is expected to be signed in Santiago, Chile on March 8.

This will require changes to the Overseas Investment Act.

The National Party said its caucus has to formally decide whether to support the newly renegotiated TPP trade deal.

"I have no doubt that when you have a trade agre with Japan, the third largest economy in the world, and Canada - just about there - and Mexico there significant economic benefits for our country".

"Signing the TPP will have huge benefits for New Zealand exporters and that's why we worked so hard for so many years to get the agreement over the line - in spite of fierce opposition from Labour and NZ First", Mr McClay says.

The CPTPP includes numerous same elements that were negotiated as part of the TPP but with "slight differences", according to the NIA.

More than 20 provisions have been suspended or changed in the final text ahead of the deal's official signing in March, including rules around intellectual property originally included at the behest of Washington.

A further $1.46 billion benefit would be achieved from the removal of non-tariff barriers, MFAT's analysis found.


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