NZ to sign CPTPP today in Chile

  • 08/03/2018
David Parker is in Chile to sign the agreement today.
David Parker is in Chile to sign the agreement today. Photo credit: File

The argy-bargy over America's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium is set to briefly take a back seat as 11 nations sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

Trade Minister David Parker will join his counterparts from 10 Pacific countries for the signing ceremony in Chile on Thursday.

The deal had been on life support after the United States' withdrawal but was resuscitated in January.

The deal will eliminate 98 percent of tariffs in a marketplace worth close to $14 trillion.

Mr Parker said the deal would give Kiwi businesses preferential access to Japan - the third biggest economy in the world - Canada, Mexico and Peru for the first time.

The deal had also "increased in importance because of growing threats to the effective operation of the World Trade Organisation", he said.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's estimates, the deal is expected to give a $1.2 billion to $4b boost to New Zealand's real gross domestic product.

This included almost $86 million in expected tariff savings for the dairy industry, while the country's exporters would save about $200m in reduced tariffs to Japan alone.

Fast facts about the Trans-Pacific Partnership 11:

The TPP 11 includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

US President Donald Trump pulled America out of the deal a year ago after describing it as "a continuing rape of our country".

The TPP was a key policy of the former Obama administration's so-called foreign policy pivot to Asia.

Some opponents of the TPP fear it opens doors for companies to sue governments for policies that harm their investments. The deal has a controversial investor-state dispute settlement clause.

China isn't part of the TPP and is trying to get up a rival deal with seven TPP countries, including New Zealand, and eight others. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is much narrower and less ambitious than the TPP.

NZN