7. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM (Green) to the Minister of Trade: Why does he continue to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in light of the analyses in the Expert Paper Series supported by the New Zealand Law Foundation?
Hon PAUL GOLDSMITH (Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs) on behalf of the Minister of Trade: The Government supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as it will be overwhelmingly positive for New Zealand in supporting more trade and investment, jobs, and incomes. The only comprehensive analysis of what the TPP means for New Zealand that I am aware of is the national interest analysis that was released publicly in January. This is the only analysis that looks at the agreement as a whole and, indeed, addresses issues raised in the papers that the member across the House refers to. It concludes that the overall TPP will deliver net benefits for New Zealand, including an additional $2.7 billion to our economy by 2030. Not being in TPP, by contrast, would put the New Zealand economy and our businesses at a competitive disadvantage compared with other countries.
Dr Kennedy Graham: What is his view of the conclusion in Expert Paper No. 4 of the comprehensive and independent series of analyses, which asserts that the text “contains provisions that would facilitate increased emissions, exacerbating climate change”?
Hon PAUL GOLDSMITH: I do not necessarily agree with that characterisation.
Dr Kennedy Graham: What is his response to the conclusion in Expert Paper No. 5 of the comprehensive and independent analyses that the TPP agreement is favourable to multinational businesses and “may exacerbate the disadvantages of New Zealand’s size and remoteness”?
Hon PAUL GOLDSMITH: I do not agree with that characterisation either. I think that when we look at the big picture, there may be some challenges for New Zealand coming out of this, but, overall, the costs are minimal compared with the opportunities that we have in order to create jobs and growth for New Zealanders, and on balance we are very much in favour of this agreement.
Dr Kennedy Graham: Will the Minister assure the House that he respects the views of the New Zealand public, such as those we heard in the select committee this morning, and that he will give serious consideration to their submissions?
Hon PAUL GOLDSMITH: Yes.