CPTPP – Not a moment too soon, says Business Forum

Issued by the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF). 

24 January 2017 – The New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) expressed delight and relief that negotiators meeting in Tokyo had concluded negotiations for a Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

“We’ve been close before but this time it looks like the eleven members of CPTPP have finally done it. This is great news for New Zealand and for all those who have worked for better trade rules in the Asia Pacific” said NZIBF Executive Director Stephen Jacobi.

Mr Jacobi said that, as provisionally agreed in DaNang last November, the agreement reached in Tokyo preserves the original access package of TPP and suspends a number of other elements including intellectual property (copyright and patents) as well as aspects of investor state dispute settlement (ISDS). Other remaining obstacles to concluding the agreement have now been overcome and all eleven members, including Canada, have agreed to meet in Chile on 8 March to sign the agreement.

“Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Trade Minister Parker have worked hard for this outcome since assuming office and deserve our congratulations, as do New Zealand’s hard working negotiators. We hope that all parties in Parliament can support CPTPP in New Zealand’s trade interests”.

Mr Jacobi noted that the Treaty of Waitangi had once again been fully protected, along with the right to regulate in the national interest in areas like the environment and public health. He drew attention to progressive elements in the agreement seeking to upholding environment and labour standards, to address fishing subsidies and to promote the interests of small and medium sized enterprises.

“CPTPP comes not a moment too soon for New Zealand in Japan where our trade interests have suffered because we lack the sort of trade arrangements that our competitors enjoy. Once CPTPP enters into force we will have new FTAs with Japan, Canada, Mexico and Peru. There is also interest from a range of other economies in joining CPTPP. All this means new opportunities for New Zealand to grow trade and jobs” concluded Mr Jacobi.

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