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Last hour TPP negotiations should not bind the new incoming government

National’s last minute pitch to get the Trans Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP-11) agreement across the line just days before the general election should not bind the new incoming government, the Green Party said today.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT) negotiators begin meeting in Japan today to negotiate the final package for the TPP, now called the TPP-11 since the US pulled out. This is the deal that will be presented for final agreement by Ministers in November.

“The fact the National Government is trying to get this deal over the line just days before the election without briefing Opposition parties lacks transparency and good faith,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Barry Coates.

“Key countries such as Japan want to get the deal locked in this week, and that means any new government in New Zealand might not be able to re-open negotiations on contentious aspects of the deal.

“National is desperate to sign the new TPP at any cost. Any deals made now are likely to lock in a new future government without its consent.

“Key potential coalition partners – the Green Party, the Māori Party, and New Zealand First – all oppose the TPP.

“It is customary practice that governments should try to avoid taking significant pre-emptive decisions just before an election that would bind a new, incoming government.

“As long as controversial features like the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms remain in place, the TPP-11 undermines New Zealand’s ability to stand up for the protection and enhancement of our environment and our national sovereignty.

“The Green Party in government will support trade agreements that are in the interests of all New Zealanders, not just the big multinational companies driving TPP and TPP-11,” said Mr Coates.