Praise for govt's handling of trade deal
Farmers, exporters and the business sector generally are praising the government for the way it handled trade negotiations on the sidelines of the APEC summit.
13 November 2017
The government is winning praise from farmers, exporters and the business sector in general for the way it handled trade negotiations on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Vietnam.
The core principles of the rebranded TPP were agreed by negotiators from 11 nations at the weekend after last-minute hold ups.
New Zealand's team managed to get most of what it wanted from the free trade deal.
"It's not a perfect agreement but it's a damn sight better than what we had when we started," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
Further negotiations will be held over coming months to iron out remaining issues before the Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is signed.
"This is a great outcome for not just the primary sector but all New Zealanders," Federated Farmers said on Monday.
"The federation is delighted that the prime minister has been pragmatic and assertive to keep this agreement moving forward."
The Employers and Manufacturers Association said it was good news for exporters.
"The New Zealand team did well," the association said.
"We are an economy of 4.5 million people and it's exciting that we will have access to markets such as Japan, which we otherwise wouldn't."
BusinessNZ said free trade agreements enormously increased the value and volume of exports.
"A successful conclusion to the CPTPP would be a huge boost for New Zealand exports."
Beef and Lamb NZ and the Meat Industry Association have also welcomed the agreement.
Critics are suspicious about the deal.
"The new government has begun to spin its achievements while omitting some inconvenient details," said Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, a veteran free trade opponent.
The Green Party has said it will continue to oppose the TPP.
"We don't think the changes make enough substantive difference," said trade spokeswoman Golriz Ghahraman.
The Greens have a support agreement with the government but don't have to back it on anything other than confidence votes in parliament.
National supports the agreement, so the government won't have a problem passing legislation needed to implement it.
The CPTPP countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
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