TPPA signing date confirmed
New Zealand will officially host the signing of the historic but controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPPA) next month.
The New Zealand Government has issue invitations to TPPA ministers to sign the 12-country free trade deal with the ceremony to be held in Auckland on February 4.
The TPPA was finalised in October after five years of negotiations with Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam all parties to the agreement.
Trade Minister Todd McClay said the signing of the TPPA marks the end of the negotiation process.
"Following signature, all 12 countries will be able to begin their respective domestic ratification processes and will have up to two years to complete that before the agreement enters into force," he said.
Prime Minister John Key made the offer to host the signing ceremony while he was attending a meeting of TPP leaders on the sidelines of the APEC summit in the Philippines in November.
At the time he said there was "quite a desire" from the other TPPA countries to come to New Zealand.
The New Zealand Government will submit the final text of the TPPA and the National Interest Analysis to Parliament after the signing the document.
The required legislative changes will then go through normal parliamentary procedures.
A series of roadshows will be held throughout New Zealand before the TPP comes into force to help New Zealanders identify and plan for new export opportunities from the trade deal.
The signatories to the agreement account for around 36 percent of the global economy and more than 40 percent of New Zealand's $28 billion worth of exported goods and services.
Mr McClay said once the deal is fully phased in it would eliminate 93 percent of tariffs with new free trade deal partners United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Peru, saving the country around $260m in annual tariffs.