Government lobbyist Charles Finny on this morning's TPP news.

I was interviewed on Morning Report by Kim Hill on the TPP outcome. I answered every question as accurately as I could based on the facts that had been made public on the negotiating outcome.

Clearly there were a few inconvenient truths there as I was attacked pretty solidly and pretty viciously by a number of people from around the world on social media.

This should not have surprised anyone.

For years we have been told that TPP was a global conspiracy by big tobacco and big Pharma etc to undermine sovereignty and deliver only negative outcomes for New Zealand and other TPP participants.


Yet the outcome is completely different.

New Zealand doesn't have to make any changes to its rules around data protection for "biologics" and tobacco can be exempted from Investor State Dispute Settlement. And in terms of anyone else suing the New Zealand Government there are clear exemptions making it most unlikely that any action could succeed so long as New Zealand continues to base restrictions on sound science.

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Yes, the dairy deal in TPP is not as good as I would have liked to see. But it will result in full liberalisation in some areas and some liberalisation in others. In terms of tariff savings alone the deal will be worth $102 million a year.

Tim Groser - you've done New Zealand proud.
Tim Groser - you've done New Zealand proud.

For meat the figure will be $72 million, fruit and vegetables $26.3 million, wine $10 million, forestry $9 million, fish $8 million, wool, leather and textiles $4 million and manufactures $10 million. All up the tariff savings by 2030 will have amounted to $2.7 billion.

There is one negative, we will have to pay more for books and movies. That cost will be $55 million over the next 20 years. By that time tariff savings will be approaching the $4 billion mark. The real gain will be bigger as lower tariffs mean increased trade flows. Zespri were amazed that when the Taiwan-NZ FTA tariffs came off export volumes increased 30 per cent in what they thought was a mature market.

While those leading them might have ulterior motives, most of those protesting against TPP have been extremely well intentioned.

Similar dynamics happened as a result of the China-NZ FTA.

While those leading them might have ulterior motives, most of those protesting against TPP have been extremely well intentioned. Who would want foreign companies to sue our Government at whim? Who would want Pharmac dismantled? Who would want the RMA undermined?


Can I suggest to these people that they actually take the time to read the Agreement when it is available (some time in the next 30 days). Have a look at the Environment and Labour Chapters in particular. These are the most far reaching and toughest such chapters in any FTA. Those concerned about labour rights and environmental protection should be celebrating not protesting.

I am particularly pleased to see the provisions on fish subsidies and the protection of important marine species. This is an issue I have been working on since 1996. 40 per cent of the world's economy is implementing these disciplines ­ including Japan.

Yes, TPP could have been better, full free trade in dairy would have been great.

And if you still worry about Investor State Dispute Settlement please read the strong safeguards to prevent abusive and frivolous claims and those that ensure the right of governments to regulate in the public interest, including on health, safety and environmental protection.

Yes, TPP could have been better, full free trade in dairy would have been great.

Unfortunately that quest will keep trade negotiators busy for many years to come. But as TPP's membership expands and as the farming model changes in some jurisdictions (inevitable) there will be plenty of opportunities for this agreement to be passed.

Full credit to Tim Groser and the multi-agency negotiating team led by Dr David Walker. You did New Zealand proud. I hope that every Member of Parliament acknowledges your great work by voting to ratify this agreement and pass it. This is test of your leadership, please show it.