Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

PM John Key launches TPP charm offensive ahead of trade deal law changes

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal has been challenged by protesters as well as opposition MPs. Photo / Dean Purcell
The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal has been challenged by protesters as well as opposition MPs. Photo / Dean Purcell

New Zealand will make another step towards progressing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) when legislation is introduced in Parliament next week.

The law changes are required to bring New Zealand's domestic rules into line with the 12-nation trade agreement.

Legislation will be tabled in Parliament on Monday, and is expected to get its first reading on May 12.

A select committee completed nationwide hearings on the TPP yesterday, and will produce a report to Parliament tomorrow.

A separate round of public consultation will take place on the TPP law changes, though it will focus more narrowly on the specific changes to rules around copyright, tariffs and other areas.

In a speech today to the NZ Institute of International Affairs at Parliament, Prime Minister John Key launched a charm offensive on the TPP.

It was New Zealand's most significant trade deal, he said, opening up access to 800 million consumers around the world.

Mr Key also belittled opponents of the agreement, who he said flared up and fell away again quickly "because nothing much of substance is ever raised".

"Most of what is in TPP is also in our existing China and Korea FTAs, neither of which has killed off democracy, wrecked the environment, led to wholesale obesity, or whatever the current anti-TPP message is," Mr Key said.

The TPP was opposed by Labour, Greens, New Zealand First and the Maori Party, who raised concerns about its impact on New Zealand's ability to legislate in the public interest, block foreign speculation in the housing market, and protect drug-buying agency Pharmac.

The agreement will come into force once the two member countries with the biggest economies, the US and Japan, have ratified the agreement.

NZH

- NZ Herald

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