Press Release – New Zealand Government
Trade Minister Tim Groser today welcomed the announcement that New Zealand will host the next round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations over 3-12 December.
“I am very pleased that New Zealand will host delegations from TPP countries, and that we will play a central role in welcoming Canada and Mexico, whose participation marks a significant turning point in the negotiation and aligns with the original vision to create a truly regional, high quality, comprehensive, 21st century trade and investment agreement,” Mr Groser says.
“Hundreds of negotiators from countries around the Asia Pacific region will attend the nine day meeting in Auckland.”
TPP already stands to create New Zealand’s largest free trade area. The addition of Mexico and Canada will grow that further, bringing an additional $1 billion of New Zealand exports under TPP and growing the proportion of New Zealand trade covered by the agreement to almost 40 percent (or $18 billion).
Mr Groser said that a programme would be prepared for interested stakeholders.
“We know that there is strong public interest in TPP and that a number of stakeholders, representing a diverse range of views, will want to play a part in the round.”
The announcement of New Zealand as host follows the recent meeting between TPP Trade Ministers in the margins of the APEC meetings in Vladivostok.
“We reaffirmed our collective goal to work for an agreement that eliminates tariffs and includes truly regional rules to support supply chains and grow trade. Achieving this result will boost export growth and support job creation in New Zealand,” says Mr Groser.
New Zealand previously hosted a TPP round in December 2010. Further information on arrangements for the December 2012 meeting will be made available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website (www.mfat.govt.nz/tpptalk) once details have been finalised.
Press Release – Green Party
“Having the negotiations on our doorstep will help focus attention on what is probably the most far-reaching executive lawmaking New Zealand has ever seen”, said Dr Jane Kelsey, a strong critic of the proposed TPP agreement.
“The tragedy is that hosting the TPPA round will cost more than half a million dollars that should be spent on public policies that will actually benefit New Zealanders”.
“If the secrecy that has engulfed these negotiations continues, the taxpayers who are funding it will have no right to know what is actually going on.”
Jane Kelsey says “New Zealanders will demand a great deal more openness that the US has shown in the previous three rounds, because it is our future that they are negotiating away”.
“Formal ‘stakeholder’ events have been crammed into one day when many of the relevant negotiators are not even around.”
Even senior Democrats from the US Congress who asked to be admitted as observers have been shut out. Civil society groups had to organise a separate event for the politicians and negotiators from other countries to meet and exchange views.
“We will expect genuine opportunities for a wide range of public interest groups to interact with negotiators on a formal and informal basis, and no special treatment for the corporations”.
A wide range of creative activities is already being organised to educate and involve more ordinary New Zealanders in an entertaining way. These include a national cartoon competition and exhibition, a lecture tour with international experts, a music event, and a new website. These will be launched over the next few weeks.