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New Zealand Government Releases Final TPP Text As Opposition Mounts

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WELLINGTON: The New Zealand government on Tuesday released the legally verified text of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal as opposition mounted ahead of next month’s signing ceremony, reports China’s Xinhua news agency citing a statement by Trade Minister Todd McClay.

The text was the final version of the agreement, which would be signed by ministers of the 12 participating nations in Auckland on Feb 4. According to the statement, as depository of the agreement, New Zealand would also release French and Spanish versions of the text.

Immediately after the signing, the New Zealand government would submit the TPP text to parliament, along with the National Interest Analysis (NIA), and the legislative changes required to implement the agreement would go through normal parliamentary procedures.

Also on Tuesday, the government released the NIA, drawn up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which analyzed the impact of the TPP on New Zealand.

“It finds that entering TPP would be in New Zealand’s national interest, adding an estimated 2.7 billion NZ dollars (US$1.74 billion) to GDP by 2030,” said McClay.

However, the main opposition Labour Party said the gains were “marginal” at less than 1 per cent of GDP and compromised New Zealand’s sovereignty.

“This analysis confirms the Trans-Pacific Partnership will prevent future governments making laws in the interest of New Zealand,” Labour leader Andrew Little said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey said the NIA was “a totally predictable cheerleading exercise that talks up the supposed gains and largely ignores the huge downsides” of the TPP.

The “flimsy NIA” contrasted to the careful and detailed analysis in five peer reviewed expert papers on the implications of the TPP that showed the deal had no net benefit for New Zealand, Kelsey said in a statement.

The expert papers said the TPP could inflict significant constraints on the New Zealand economy and environment as well as other areas. Organizers of a protest march against the TPP in Auckland on Feb 4 said they were expecting thousands of people to turn out. — Bernama

 

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