Japan and NZ aim for TPP progress

Trade Minister Todd MaClay has visited Japan with Prime Minister Bill English, and both countries have announced a willingness to progress the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement despite the withdrawal of the United States.

Newshub: English’s Japan trip breathes new life into TPP

Prime Minister Bill English has been meeting with his counterpart Shinzo Abe. He says he’s looking forward to working with Japan to move the TPP forward, without the United States.

“Acknowledging the leadership of Prime Minister Abe, I’m taking it forward. Like Japan, New Zealand has ratified the agreement, and we look forward to working together to progress the TPP.”

The 11 countries left negotiating the agreement after the United States pulled out will meet in Hanoi, Vietnam, this weekend.

New Zealand and Japan remain the only countries to have ratified the TPP.

It’s likely the text that was signed last year will be revised, now the US has left, before it’s agreed to by all member countries.

Japan Times: Japan and New Zealand agree to aim for progress on TPP by November

Japan and New Zealand confirmed they will aim to reach an agreement with other signatories to move the Trans-Pacific Partnership forward by November despite the withdrawal of the United States.

“What is important now is whether the (remaining) members can share a view about the future direction of the TPP … and we hope to make efforts to reach an agreement” by November when a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will be held in Vietnam, economic and fiscal policy minister Nobuteru Ishihara told reporters after talks Monday with New Zealand trade minister Todd McClay in Tokyo.

Japan and New Zealand are among the 11 remaining Pacific Rim countries pursuing the TPP free trade pact without U.S. involvement, but some countries, including Vietnam and Malaysia, which hope to boost exports to the United States, are believed to be reluctant to put the agreement into force without the world’s biggest economy.

“It is extremely important that the 11 countries unite and be clear about the future of the TPP” despite the “differences in the ideas and motives of the member countries,” said Ishihara, Japan’s point man on TPP negotiations.

The two ministers met as representatives of the 11 states will try to narrow their differences at a TPP ministerial meeting, set to take place Sunday in Hanoi alongside an APEC trade ministers’ meeting that starts Saturday.

“The TPP meeting in Hanoi will be an important meeting as we look to discuss the direction of the TPP,” Ishihara said, adding that Japan and New Zealand will seek to “lead the discussions.”

New Zealand formally ratified the TPP deal Thursday, becoming the second signatory country to do so after Japan, which completed domestic ratification procedures in December.

So a revamped TPP could still go ahead without the US.

Leave a comment


  1. NOEL

     /  18th May 2017

    Multilateral or bilateral, lets apply a bit of maths.


    • Good one Noel!

      “The results depict that transportation costs, differences in country sizes and comparative advantages are all obstacles for having a multilateral FTA.”

      I’ve thought exactly that myself for a long, long time and, although I’ve not researched it to any great depth, this is the first time I’ve heard anyone else talk in those terms about this aspect of ‘globalisation’ …

    • High Flying Duck

       /  18th May 2017

      That was a bright and breezy read!

      So bi-laterals are easier to obtain and sustain, but multilaterals are superior where they are achievable and sustainable.

      The new Silk Road initiative by the Chinese seems specifically designed to correct many of the asymmetrical factors mentioned in the report that act as an impediment to multilateral deals.

      “investing in transportation technologies,
      working on eliminating trade frictions (as in gravity equations and/or as in Viner, 1950) or creating wider trade networks,
      together with self-improving global culturalism through advancing communication technologies, may also help increasing
      the likelihood of a multilateral FTA through time”

      As an aside with many products and services becoming less single country specific, bilateral agreements become harder to enforce.
      Many raw materials are imported from several places, often partial manufacture is performed across many countries.
      Bilaterals have to distinguish country of origin very carefully.

      • NOEL

         /  18th May 2017


  2. Blazer

     /  18th May 2017

    there is no need for this crappy,shitty deal.Bi lateral agreements are more flexible,pragmatic and work just fine.Look at the EEC,when the tails are intertwined it takes only one ‘rat’ to die to put the others in…jeopardy.

  3. Reply
    • PDB

       /  19th May 2017

      If he hates it then it must be a good deal.

    • Today we seem to operate in a world dedicated to reducing costs [at any cost]; so maybe razor-thin inputs, especially labour, plus razor-thin margins minus maximized profits [plus obscene upper-management remuneration] equals razor-thin benefits? I suspect only global economies-of-scale confer any sense on most of it?

      I wouldn’t mind betting that TPP and FTA’s have also become big elements in a compulsive, globalised search by governments for reduced public expenditure on infrasture projects, materials and service provision in an ongoing, desperate and increasingly futile attempt to fulfil neoliberalism’s promise of reduced income tax … The great Friedmanesque ‘carrot dangling from a stick’?

      But with every cheap pail of imported road-marking paint, part of some vague or explicit FTA reciprocality, resulting in road-markings that fade to near invisible in a matter of months … so dissolve the fantasy-hopes of reduced government expenditure because the job of applying the paint must be done 5 or 10 times as often …

      … Perhaps it’s some weird form of local job creation – undoubtedly at casualized rates – justified by globally-sourced inferior materials which, bizarrely, must still be cheaper – measured in purely financial terms – than supporting a local road-marking-paint manufacturing industry …?

      New Rogered Land …

      • High Flying Duck

         /  19th May 2017

        Free trade is responsible for a huge lift in the standard of living of all people, from Third World workers who gain employment to western world consumers who gain spending power due to reduced costs.

        Tariffs keep efficiently produced goods out of a market and lead to both inefficiencies in the home market (lack of competition) and increased prices.

        Unemployment is not an issue for most free market economies. it is the protected nations which seem to suffer more from joblessness.

  1. Japan and NZ aim for TPP progress – NZ Conservative Coalition
  2. Trans-Pacific Partnership Annouces – Energy Management

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