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19 Mar 2018 11:48
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  •   Home > News > Business

    Protestors cement views over TPP signing

    Eleven Pacific countries are set to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, which has led to some protest in New Zealand.

    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.

    In Christchurch, three women cemented themselves in place outside MP Ruth Dyson's office at 2pm to protest the deal going ahead.

    One woman, dressed as Mr Parker, proclaimed that "after years of public opposition, the Labour Party is thrilled to cement New Zealand into the renamed CPTPP without the independent review we promised".

    A similar protest has been staged in Motueka, replicating the "Cemented in the TPP" outside MP Damien O'Connors office.

    The trade deal had been on life support after the United States' withdrawal but was resuscitated in January - it will eliminate 98 per cent 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.

    NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, speaking in Rarotonga on Thursday, said she had been involved in TPP protests herself, but with the purpose of protecting Pharmac, Treaty of Waitangi provisions and "regulating our own housing market.... and that's what we have done. We went in with a clear vision and have been able to deliver on most of that."

    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.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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