Running hot and cold with TPP

Although wailing and gnashing of teeth appears to have largely subsided, it seems TPP -or now, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – is never far from the news.

Nor should it be, given the importance of CPTPP to the New Zealand economy, especially in the increasingly disrupted world of trade.

The CPTPP parties are now embarked on the ratification process – six economies are required to ratify before the agreement can enter into force.   New Zealand hopes to an early ratifier and the process is well underway. Submissions to the Select Committee examining the treaty closed on 18 April. You can read the NZIBF submission here.

Meanwhile President Trump has mused about re-joining TPP and had reportedly issued instructions to National Economic Director Larry Kudlow and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Larry and Bob have their work cut out for them. It’s just not that simple.

We discussed this in a piece for Radio NZ – “Get it Done Larry” – and continued the discussion here.

But that was last week. Now the idea seems to be off. Hear my discussion with Grant Walker of NBR Radio here.

A big task facing the Government and the business community is to draw attention to the benefits of CPTPP. Trade agreements are of use only if businesses walk through the doors that have been opened. Expanding New Zealand’s business with Japan is a key priority as you can read here.

There’s bound to be more in store with CPTPP in coming months as the ratification process proceeds. Keep watching folks!

This post was prepared by Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director of the NZ International Business Forum.

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