The NZ election campaign coincides with a crunch time for the future of the Trans Pacific Partnership. In the absence of the US, attempts to renegotiate an 11-member TPP risk scuppering a deal that could bring enormous benefits to New Zealand, argues Stephen Jacobi, executive director of the NZ International Business Forum.
Good ideas never die and so it has proved with TPP. No amount of huffing and puffing from the arch-protectionists and the anti-globalists, not even the president of the United States, has (yet) been able to consign TPP to history. Those people with genuinely held concerns about aspects of the agreement – and there are many – might wonder why this is so. It’s because the remaining 11 parties to the agreement continue to see it as a means of accelerating trade and investment growth and providing a new benchmark for improving the rules against which business is done in the region. The parties are convinced that the agreement, as negotiated, contains the necessary safeguards to protect domestic sovereignty and the continuing rights of governments to regulate in the national interest.
Officials are meeting again in Sydney this week to try to hammer out a recommendation for TPP leaders to consider when they gather for the APEC Economic Summit in Danang, Viet Nam in November. Officials have met on two earlier occasions since the United States withdrew from the agreement. Reports suggest the coalition is holding at least for the meantime. At issue now is the extent to which the agreement, signed in Auckland in February 2016, and ratified by both Japan and New Zealand, should be amended other than simply the clause by which it enters into force. The latter clearly needs to be changed, but is that all?
Continue to read the full article here | An opinion piesce by Stephen Jacobi for The Spinoff || August 29, 2017 |||