The loss of bipartisanship from New Zealand’s trade policy is deeply disturbing, says New Zealand International Business Forum Chair Malcolm Bailey.
“Successive New Zealand Governments on both sides of the political divide have for decades sought the best possible conditions for New Zealand businesses operating internationally.”
“Both major parties can claim significant achievements in this field. New Zealand business, workers, their families and communities and the economy as a whole have benefited as a result”.
“Against this background the decision by the Labour Party not to support the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the legislative process comes as a blow.”
Mr Bailey said that international treaties involved give and take for mutual net advantage for all the participating countries whether for an FTA or a climate change or international labour agreement.
“To claim that entering into a treaty like TPP amounts to a loss of sovereignty seems rather contrived when viewed against New Zealand’s already heavy involvement in many existing international agreements”.
“If New Zealand were not to join TPP, the economic consequences would be dire. Our competitors would enjoy better market access over time and we would not be able to participate in TPP’s future expansion to other trading partners.”
“We urge the Labour Party to reflect on the importance for economic opportunities, investment and jobs that a bipartisan approach to trade policy delivers”.