Month: February 2016

TPP business community welcomes agreement

Press Release – Anthem TPP business community welcomes agreement, calls for early ratification The business community strongly supports the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and looks forward to seeing the agreement enter into force as quickly as possible, say a group of business …TPP business community welcomes agreement, calls for early ratification The business community strongly supports the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and looks forward to seeing the agreement enter into force as quickly as possible, say a group of business representatives drawn from eleven TPP economies. The group is currently in San Francisco attending a meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). TPP was signed in New Zealand on 4 February 2016. ABAC Member for New Zealand Tony Nowell, speaking on behalf of the group, described TPP as a “historic opportunity to transform trade in goods, services, investment and ‘new economy’ issues in the TPP economic zone.” The TPP economies represent 36% of global GDP and 812 million consumers. “Business and consumers will benefit from improved rules for trade and investment and the creation of the right environment for global value chains to grow. The cost of doing business will be reduced significantly as tariffs and non-tariff barriers are removed,” Mr Nowell said. “The TPP economies will enjoy greater prosperity as a result of improved access to goods and services and enhanced flows of capital,” he added. The...

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Democratic Deficit on the TPPA continues

Press Release – It’s Our Future During six years of unnecessarily secretive negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), members of the public were repeatedly assured they would eventually be able to have their democratic say on the TPPA. In February, the new Trade Minister, …28 February 2016 For Immediate Release Democratic Deficit on the TPPA continues During six years of unnecessarily secretive negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), members of the public were repeatedly assured they would eventually be able to have their democratic say on the TPPA. In February, the new Trade Minister, Todd McClay promised that there would be a flexible schedule, with enough time for public submissions. But now, with nine working days left before the deadline for submissions on the TPPA inquiry, these promises have not been fulfilled. Despite previous assurances, the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Select Committee has not yet extended the due date for submissions. It is inconsistent that the deadline for submissions currently falls before most of the government’s planned information sessions on the TPPA. The Spokesperson for It’s Our Future, Barry Coates, has written a second letter to the Chair of the Select Committee Mark Mitchell MP, calling for an extension to be announced as soon as possible. “This is a huge and complex agreement, with significant impacts across our society. There are over 6000 pages of legal...

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Government must reassure local authorities over TPPA

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party Upper Hutt City Councils controversial move to establish a TPPA Free Zone policy reflects the concern many local authorities have over the deal and the Government must now provide assurances to our representatives, says Labours Local Government … 26 February 2016 Government must reassure local authorities over TPPA Upper Hutt City Council’s controversial move to establish a “TPPA Free Zone” policy reflects the concern many local authorities have over the deal and the Government must now provide assurances to our representatives, says Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “I am hearing the real concern out there about the implications of the TPPA at local government level. “While not going to the lengths of Upper Hutt City Council,12 other local authorities have adopted a TPPA resolution calling on the Government to safeguard their decision-making abilities. “This shows the tensions placed on local authorities by the TPPA. “A recent peer-reviewed expert paper supported by the NZ Law Foundation confirms the potential for TPPA countries to legally challenge local government decisions that damage their commercial interests. “It’s important that the Government provides assurances to our elected local bodies that their ability to meet community expectations around responsible local governance will be protected. “If a local authority finds itself forced into mounting a legal defence, will the Government make provisions to support this? “This is a...

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Upper Hutt Council TPP resolution very disappointing

Press Release – New Zealand National Party The decision by the Upper Hutt Council to declare itself a TPP Free Zone is very disappointing, says Chris Bishop, National List MP based in the Hutt Valley.Chris Bishop National List MP based in the Hutt Valley Media statement 26 February 2016 Upper Hutt Council TPP resolution very disappointing “The decision by the Upper Hutt Council to declare itself a ‘TPP Free Zone’ is very disappointing,” says Chris Bishop, National List MP based in the Hutt Valley. “While the resolution is of course legally meaningless – it sends totally the wrong message about Upper Hutt being ‘open for business’ and its desire to grow its economy to provide higher wages and jobs for Upper Hutt families. “The reality is that TPP will be good for Upper Hutt, opening up a market of 800 million consumers to Hutt exporters. In particular, the agreement will be great for awesome Upper Hutt craft beer brewers like Panhead and Kereru.” The TPP will eliminate all tariffs on beer in the following four markets (tariffs are already zero in the other TPP countries): Mexico: 20 per cent tariff eliminated immediately. Malaysia: 5 Malaysian Ringgit/litre (NZD$1.80/litre) tariff eliminated by Year 16. Peru: 9 per cent tariff eliminated by Year 6. Viet Nam: 23 per cent tariff eliminated by Year 11. “New Zealand has almost no beer exports at...

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Christchurch City Council met today

Press Release – Christchurch City Council Councillors received an update on the New Central Library project, which was recently put out for tender. The Council has received a number of excellent tenders and a decision will be made in the coming weeks. Ground-works for the library began on …Christchurch City Council met today and made the following key decisions: New Central Library Councillors received an update on the New Central Library project, which was recently put out for tender. The Council has received a number of excellent tenders and a decision will be made in the coming weeks. Ground-works for the library began on Monday 22 February on the site of the old Camelot Hotel, which means construction of the facility – which will be the largest public library in the South Island – can begin later in 2016. Council supports voluntary smokefree outdoor dining trial The Council resolved to support Smokefree Canterbury’s ‘Voluntary Smokefree Outdoor Dining Trial’. Smokefree Canterbury will receive economic data on the hospitality sector within Christchurch; help with survey methodology and analysis of findings; and contact details for café and restaurant owners with outdoor dining lease agreements. Council to organise TPP workshop Councillors and the public will have an opportunity to hear from experts, such as university lecturers, about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at a workshop to be organised by the Council. After the workshop...

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