Labour must address its own criticism of TPPA

Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey

Labour must address its own criticism that the TPPA lacks evidence of benefits to NZ

‘Before the new government can decide its position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), including whether it would genuinely boost exports and provide a net benefit to the country, Labour needs to address its own criticism that there is inadequate evidence to support even the original deal’, says University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey.

Labour’s minority viewpoint in the select committee report on the TPPA (set out below) said: ‘the modelling as presented is not sufficient for us to be confident benefits proposed in the National Interest Analysis will eventuate. … Questions about whether the deal might secure just an additional nine jobs for the industry went without compelling answer from Government officials’.’*

Elsewhere, Labour noted that international academic studies showed there could be job losses to New Zealand from the deal.

To remedy these defects, ‘Labour joins calls made by submitters calling for further modelling of the TPPA’s impacts on employment and wage distribution. We also join submitters calling for a related public health analysis of the TPPA impact.

Labour’s criticisms related to the original agreement, which included the purported economic gains from access to the US market.

Since the US withdrawal, there has been no update of the flawed National Interest Analysis in relation to the TPPA-11, let alone a proper robust cost-benefit analysis across the agreement’s 30 chapters. The only research cited by former Trade Minister Todd McClay was a Japanese study that was based on the same flawed modelling and ignored all the costly downsides.

Professor Kelsey cautions the new government that, if its position on the TPPA is to have any integrity, the first step must be to commission a new independent economic analysis that addresses all the costs and benefits, as well as the public health analysis it said was required.

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