John Key says that New Zealanders should feel proud of being a part of the TPPA we have been one of the primary forces behind the deal).
New Zealanders should feel immensely proud of being part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Prime Minister John Key said ahead of today’s historic signing in Auckland by 12 countries.
Mr Key said people had opposed the China free trade agreement in 2008 and the closer economic relations (CER) agreement with Australia in the 1980s and opponents of both had been proven totally wrong.
“In the end, for all the bluff and bluster and misinformation, TPP is no more than a free trade agreement with the first and third largest economies in the world,” he said, referring to the United States and Japan.
“I think people should feel immensely proud of TPP and actually excited by the opportunity it presents.”
• 9am Ministers welcomed to SkyCity with mihi whakatau (cut-down powhiri with no karanga)
• 9.30am Ministers meet privately, chaired by NZ Trade Minister Todd McClay
• 11.30am Signing of TPP documents
• Noon Press conference.
The Herald editorial also promotes the pride angle: NZ can take pride in TPP deal on trade
Looking back, it is hard to recall a greater diplomatic achievement than the comprehensive trade and investment agreement that will be signed by representatives of 12 countries in Auckland today. The post-war creation of the United Nations in which New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser played a role may be as proud for those who remember it. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is directly in that tradition.
It represents another advance on the principles of the World Trade Organisation, formerly the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt) that was one of the multi-lateral institutions formed by nations seeking world peace and prosperity after two devastating wars.
The TPP became hard work once the United States was in and, more recently Japan. New Zealand’s hopes that agricultural tariffs and subsidies might be swept away in a “gold standard” agreement were dashed in dealing between the big two, along with Canada’s protection of its farmers.
But the fears of many in New Zealand that pharmaceutical purchasing and ICT innovation would be sacrificed for a deal did not eventuate.
The protesters who will be out in force today ought to acknowledge this even if they really think the US will be able to impose unacceptable conditions before the deal is ratified.
The protesters are protesters, not balanced evaluators.
Their over-riding concern remains that the TPP gives investors the right to sue governments for damages before international tribunals. But this is not a one-way street. New Zealand companies would have the same rights against capricious government actions in countries whose politics are a lot less reliable for investment than New Zealand’s. The rights are designed to encourage the international investment that spreads wealth in the world
The deal being signed in Auckland today embraces 40 per cent of the global economy and covers much more than trade. It covers the range of business rules and governing principles that the WTO has been trying to establish.
It is an agreement of historic global significance and New Zealand is hosting the signing in recognition of the role it has played. It might also bid to host a permanent secretariat if one is established. The drive for global prosperity could not be in better care.
It is an agreement of historic global significance, with New Zealand the current focal point.