TPP national assessment analysis released

Trade Minister Todd McClay said the TPP would add $2.7 billion to New Zealand's GDP by 2030. Photo / NZ Herald
Trade Minister Todd McClay said the TPP would add $2.7 billion to New Zealand's GDP by 2030. Photo / NZ Herald

The Government has released the national interest analysis (NIA) on the Trans Pacific Partnership two weeks earlier than planned in a bid to counter opposition to it.

The 279-page report was prepared by officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade prepared the 279-page report, and were originally due to be presented to Parliament on February 9.

But opposition to the deal has stepped up before the ceremonial signing of the 12-country trade pact in Auckland next week.

As with other NIAs, the report will be considered by the foreign affairs and defence select committee.

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Legislation enabling the TPP to take effect in New Zealand, such as the passage of new tariff schedules, will then be presented to Parliament.

In releasing the NIA this morning, Trade Minister Todd McClay said it found that the TPP would add $2.7 billion to New Zealand's GDP by 2030, although former Trade Minister Tim Groser has said in the past that such estimates are unreliable.

Estimates of the China FTA, for example, completely understated the benefits.
Mr McClay also said New Zealand had published an unprecedented amount of information on the TPP. The deal was first made public on November 5.

Investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) by private tribunals is one of the most contentious aspects of the TPP.

The report says that although such rules have been included - but never used - in many of New Zealand's existing trade agreements to protect New Zealand investors overseas there was an increased risk of exposure to a claim under the TPP because of the size of the TPP region and the potential number of new investors.

But is also sets out mitigating elements negotiated into the agreement including:

- The Government has preserved its right to regulate for public health, the environment and other regulatory objectives.
- No investor can make a claim about investors being turned down under the Overseas Investment Act.
- Tribunal hearings will be public.
- Only actual losses, not punitive damages can be awarded.
- There is a high threshold before investors could prove breaches of TPP obligations such as expropriation
- Tobacco companies will be barred from taking cases under ISDS rules. They will have to go through the normal court system.

Mr McCLay will be fronting MFat-organised public roadshows on TPP around the country, but details are not yet available.

Read the TPP national assessment analysis here:

- NZ Herald

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