Trade Minister David Parker rates CPTPP 'seven out of 10'

Trade Minister David Parker rates a controversial trade deal a "seven out of 10" for New Zealand.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is due to be signed in Chile on March 8.

Mr Parker told Newshub Nation that New Zealand made some gains in the revised deal, particularly around beef exports to Japan. He admitted, however, that it was "not an especially good deal for dairy, but better than nothing".

The Trade Minister also told Lisa Owen that  Labour didn't reach their five pre-election "bottom lines" for the deal - although he believes they came close, achieving four-and-a-half of them.

Labour's five bottom lines for the deal were:

  • Pharmac must be protected
  • Corporations cannot successfully sue the Government for regulating in the public interest
  • New Zealand maintains the right to restrict sales of farm land and housing to non-resident foreigner buyers
  • The Treaty of Waitangi must be upheld
  •  Meaningful gains are made for farmers in tariff reductions and market access.

The biggest sticking point is the part of the deal that allow foreign corporations to sue the New Zealand Government, known as investor-state dispute settlement clauses (ISDS), are still present.

22 of the most controversial clauses of the CPTPP have been suspended, but not removed.

That means a future Government could reinstate them - particularly if the United States was to re-enter negotiations and apply pressure.

Mr Parker said he was "99 percent sure" that wouldn't happen.

The scope of the ISDS clauses have been narrowed so they no longer apply to financial screening, and anyone taking up a contract with the Government is no longer able to sue through ISDS, but must go through domestic procedures instead.

Newshub Nation.

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