Tim Groser: Secrecy is part of TPPA negotiations

  • 08/11/2014

Details of a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will not be released until a deal is reached, Trade Minister Tim Groser says.

Thousands of people took to the streets in rallies across the country yesterday to protest against the TPPA.

The biggest problem raised is the secrecy of the negotiations.

Trade ministers from the 12 TPPA countries are meeting in Beijing on the fringes of the APEC meeting.

Mr Groser said countries have to agree to secrecy.

"If you want to be in the tent then you respect that confidentiality and New Zealand will certainly be doing that," he told TVNZ's Q+A today.

If there is a deal then all of the fine details would be out in the political debate, he said.

"People can then look at a balanced view, not on the basis of assumptions of what things might be, but on the basis of the deal that is there."

Protesters fear the TPPA could give tobacco companies the right to sue the government if it puts anti-tobacco legislation in place.

They also believe the deal could force up the cost of medicines.

Mr Groser said that was a valid issue.

"But when we're able to look at a final deal I'm extremely confident that the Government will be able to convey to New Zealanders that there is no cause for concern."

Mr Groser said he had a team of "world-class" negotiators working on the agreement.

He hoped a deal could be reached soon, but said it came down to the massive economic powers of Japan and the United States being able to reach an agreement.

"The bigger danger for New Zealand here is simply is that the big countries in this cannot find a basis of moving forward into a consensus."

The countries involved are New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, United States, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada.

NZN

source: newshub archive