The analogy was a good one.

Since the Aussies signed up to a free trade deal with the world's third largest economy Japan three years ago beef imports from this country to that market have dropped by 36 percent.

That decline was likely to continue without the new international trade deal with the impossible acronym CPTPP.

The simple old Trans Pacific Partnership had "comprehensive and progressive" added to its handle by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after he threw an inexplicable hissy fit in Vietnam last year when he walked out on the signing.


Crowing about the benefits and how the Aussies are getting the jump on us in the Japanese market was David Parker who a year ago would have been scolded for saying such a thing in public.

His then leader Andrew Little banned his colleagues from singing the TPP's praises, essentially because it'd become National's claim to fame.

It was right up there with his gagging order on his colleagues praising the flag change that had been Labour policy for decades.

Labour claimed then that the agreement would cost five to six thousand jobs and our sovereignty would be lost, but all that's changed because a plug's been put in what they saw as God's Own going down the sink hole.

All the bad bits of the agreement have been "suspended" meaning that if Donald Trump has another rush of blood to the head they could conceivably be back on the table again.

It's unlikely that would happen, although with Trump no-one would be willing to put money on it.

The most irksome aspect for opponents of the agreement was the ability of multinational companies to sue the Government on the international stage if it's decisions impacted on their bottom line.

Parker talked about "side letters" being signed by countries who've agreed not to go down that path with us but wouldn't say how many of these secret missives are in the mail or who wrote them.


Apparently we'll be told that when they all put pen to paper in Chile in a fortnight's time.

Even one of the old agreement's arch critics Winston Peters, whose on record as saying it's like signing a blank cheque and it's all about America's best interests, has been converted on the road to the Beehive.

So we can all rest easy, and so we should.

Being part of the CPTPP is a no brainer for our blip on the radar screen.

As Parker rightly said to be part of a trade deal with the economic sumo wrestler Japan and with the other heavyweights, like Canada and Mexico, can't help but be good for this country's economy.