Press Release – New Zealand First Party

The Prime Minister is exaggerating the trade benefits of signing up to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), says New Zealand First. Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
Member of Parliament for Northland
2 FEBRUARY 2016

TPPA An Overblown Duck Yet to Fly

The Prime Minister is exaggerating the trade benefits of signing up to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), says New Zealand First.

“Exhaustive studies in New Zealand and the United States show the benefits are negligible and do not outweigh the many negatives,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“A paper by a group of experts which included Professor Tim Hazeldine, professor of economics at the University of Auckland Business School, says economic benefits of the TPPA for New Zealand would be modest.

“The group says economic gains from tariff reductions under TPPA have been exaggerated, that gains for agricultural producers are small compared with fluctuations in commodity prices and exchange rates, and significant tariff barriers remain in the dairy sectors of Japan, Canada and the US which are likely to be ‘locked in’ under the TPPA and more difficult to remove in future.

“They say the TPPA will undermine negotiations on agriculture in the World Trade Organisation, which is the only realistic forum to reduce the massive agricultural subsidies that distort agricultural markets

“The government has failed to tell us what has been negotiated away, or is still to be negotiated away by the US Congress – the costs of these changes will probably erode further any so-called benefits.

“There are risks, especially the threat from the TPPA’s Investor State Dispute Settlement which Professor Hazeldine says is likely to create a ‘chilling effect’ on our laws and policies.

“In the United States, a study by Tufts University says the TPPA will probably cause job losses and an increase in inequality.

“The Tufts study says TPPA will lead to a contraction of GDP in the United States and in Japan, negligible income gains in other countries, job losses and higher inequality.

“While the treaty will be signed here at a choreographed show in Auckland, it still has to get the approval of the US Congress and that will be difficult.

“Republicans are opposed to it as are national farming and food processing unions in the United States which fear job losses and lower economic returns.

“In spite of the government’s TPPA beat-up, it’s an overblown duck yet to fly.’’

ENDS

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