Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

TPP to be signed in NZ next month - reports

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key with other leaders at a Trans Pacific Partnership leaders meeting. Photo / Alan Gibson
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key with other leaders at a Trans Pacific Partnership leaders meeting. Photo / Alan Gibson

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be signed in New Zealand next month, according to media reports.

Ministers from the 12 countries that have negotiated the massive and controversial deal will formally sign the agreement on February 4 in New Zealand, Bloomberg BNA has reported.

Andres Rebolledo, director general of Chile's International Economic Relations Bureau, reportedly confirmed the date in a meeting with the country's National Human Rights Institute.

The signing will be a high-profile celebration, but the deal will still need to be ratified in national parliaments. In the United States, the Obama administration had aimed to have the deal ratified by July.

The office of Trade Minister Todd McClay has been contacted for comment.

After years of talks, the secretive TPP trade deal was finalised in October, with the 12 countries negotiating the deal concluding five years of intense negotiation.

The pact will cut trade barriers and set common standards for 40 per cent of the world's economy, and deliver New Zealand its long sought-after free-trade deal with the US, the largest economy in the world, and Japan, the third-largest economy, as well as Canada, Mexico and Peru.

Other TPP players are Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Chile, Vietnam, and Malaysia, all of which New Zealand has deals with.

TPP talks began in 2010 but strong public opposition to the deal here has centred on concerns about its impact, such as making pharmaceuticals more expensive and a loss of sovereignty. Thousands of people demonstrated in August, many angry that details of the deal had been kept secret.

- NZ Herald

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