After some bumpy negotiation, the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement has been agreed by all eleven remaining participants. But some details remain to be sorted

After some bumpy negotiation, the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement has been agreed by all eleven remaining participants. But some details remain to be sorted

Update: Formal agreement concluded. Ministers Statement added below.

On the sidelines of the APEC meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam, the eleven countries trying to negotiate the TPP have agreed on the "core elements" of the trade deal, but some contentious areas – including culture and dispute settlement – were set aside for further negotiation.

It came just hours after the Canadians were accused of blocking an agreement earlier in the day.

The political drama included a scheduled meeting of TPP leaders that the Canadian prime minister did not attend and that was ultimately cancelled, leading to international media reports that Canada had "screwed" its TPP allies after getting cold feet.

However, Canada's Trade Minister dismissed the reports as a "misunderstanding," and said Canada took the time it needed to push for stronger protections related to the environment and labour.

The challenge for Canada and Mexico is that both TPP nations are also in the middle of renegotiating the North American free-trade agreement with the Americans, meaning that many of the same issues are in play at the two separate negotiating tables.

While APEC includes 21 member countries, the 11 nations of the TPP include New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The TPP parties are all APEC members.

Here is the Statement issued after the latest meeting:

"Ministers are pleased to announce that they have agreed on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ministers agree that the CPTPP maintains the high standards, overall balance and integrity of the TPP while ensuring the commercial and other interests of all participants and preserving our inherent right to regulate, including the flexibility of the parties to set legislative and regulatory priorities."

You can find detailed analysis and critique of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement here (and follow the links at the foot of that review which cover each Chapter of the Agreement), and more here.

Update: Here is the NZ Trade Minister's Statrement:

Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker has welcomed the 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which incorporates the TPP.

 A Ministerial Statement has been issued today by all eleven Ministers in Da Nang, Viet Nam, which confirms the core elements of the deal are now agreed, with just four issues requiring further technical work and discussion.

“My Ministerial counterparts and I also agreed this week to suspend a number of the most controversial parts of the of the original TPP in the new Agreement,” says Minister Parker.

“At the same time, there will be no change to the goods market access outcomes contained in the original TPP.

“This is a now an improved deal for New Zealand.

“The overall outcome satisfies the five conditions that the Labour-led Government laid out for a revised TPP:

• It achieves meaningful gains in market access for farmers and supports the more than 620,000 New Zealanders whose jobs depend on exports. The CPTPP will also provide New Zealand for the first time with preferential market access into Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, as well as Canada, Mexico and Peru;

• It upholds the unique status of the Treaty of Waitangi;

• It preserves New Zealand’s right to regulate in the public interest. We have also retained the reciprocal agreement with Australia, which is the source of 80 per cent of our overseas investment from this new grouping, that ISDS clauses will not apply between our countries. We continue to seek similar agreements with the other countries in this new Agreement. In addition, the scope to make ISDS claims has also been narrowed;

• The Pharmac model continues to be protected. Further improvements now achieved include suspension of patent extensions which could have increased the cost of medicine to the government; and

• The ability to control the sale of New Zealand homes is being preserved by separate legislation in New Zealand.

 “New Zealand will now be focused on working together with our partner countries toward signature, including on the four specific items to be finalised by the date of signature of the new Agreement.

“I expect negotiators will need to meet again in the next few months to take this forward.

“In the meantime, I want New Zealanders to have the opportunity to understand what has been agreed and what it means for them, their families and their country, before anything is signed or ratified.

“Like all free trade agreements, the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will scrutinise the CPTPP and Parliament will consider the necessary legislative changes needed to give effect to the agreement.”


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excellent news - taken an age but will be great for trade - now to see if Jacinda delivered the ban on foreign house buyers that she said she would negotiate!

"core elements" of the trade deal,"

Arguably, property transactions aren't Trade? Free movement of Goods and Services are, but asset acquisition in another' Country? I doubt it, but we'll see.....

Well I suppose if someone wants to purchase the home for materials acquisition, ie demolish and export?

having had a quick read of this agreement, we are opening up a lot and as a small country i am still not convinced the benefits for our farmers will be greater than the downside for the rest of the population

It's always about the finance, it's where the money is.

Exactly - unfettered global cross border financing of excess to the point of unnecessary goods movement that benefits the few. I guess that's what China just did in your link below. It's the same relationship that GMAC held for GM - making cars was of secondary importance. It's always finance first and trade second so long as trade benefits the former. There is no room for the 99% to benefit.

Unless you live in the middle east where the %1 are getting a little uncomfortable

I guess the 1% fighting among themselves over their obscene ill gotten gains is hardly of any concern for you and me?

I thought you were of the %1, being a banker and all?

Bank employees are at best the1%'s servants - it's bank shareholders who get all the dosh.

That means four foreign controlled banks, who paid their Aussie parent shareholders $2.68 billion in dividends last year, completely dominate the NZ financial landscape. There are financial stability ramifications in this. All four are heavily leveraged to Australasian housing, arguably one of the most overvalued assets around. And should the proverbial hit the fan, you can bet those in Canberra would expect the NZ taxpayer to bail the Kiwi offshoots of their banks out. Read more

You certainly don't need to be a banker - USD34,500 in income to make the 1% club... Some kiwi farmers might even scrape in. There are a lot dirt poor people out there.

That is by income, by assets you need 840,000 USD to be in the top 1%. It shows that the top hide their incomes as it would take a lot of USD34,500 paychecks to amass that amount.

So your average Auckland house then.

Unless you were at Deutsche Bank!

Over the 1995-2016 period, shareholders earned a net €17bn from owning Deutsche, once dividends, share buybacks and increased stock market value are offset by capital increases. That is dwarfed by the €71bn paid in bonuses over the same time period. One top investment banker from Deutsche’s mid-1990s build-up phase, confronted with that statistic, appears uncharacteristically humbled. “Would the bank have been better off without hiring any of us?” he asks with a look to the middle distance."

Towards the end of my London stint the bank paid bonuses in it's own shares which could be redeemed for cash immediately after acceptance - all to avoid paying NI apparently.

Nonetheless, NY top management's share dwarfed by many magnitudes that which ordinary London prop traders were in receipt of. I retired at 45 and counted myself lucky.

I guess the frequency and size of debt share buybacks are aimed at monetising staff holdings.

Early in my financial literacy training I worked this out to be the current, and escalating, battle for unearned income. It will bit in some of my old posts here going back to perhaps 2011.

Having had a detailed read of the Agreement itself (except two housekeeping Chapters 1 and 30), plus reading Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy's chapter-by-chapter critique, I am convinced we are much, much better off in than out.

I agree there may be some downsides, but my reading is that the protections in them for NZ are strong, while the upsides are - as Helen Clark says - a "no-brainer".

I'm a fan.

You can see why we are getting a bit paranoid about our dependence on China

The obvious question is, “what changed?” Why are the Chinese suddenly rolling out the figurative red carpet for foreign presence in businesses that are held as state security?
For real answers, I think we need only go back to last week and PBOC Governor Zhou’s blunt assessment of Chinese conditions. He stated quite clearly that China has a debt problem. He didn’t go further into the details, for what he left out explicitly, implying only, was that China really has a bad debt problem. Its banks and securities firms are on the hook for what the government hasn’t absorbed. These are not likely to be small, trivial balances.


Can you quantify your belief or are the citizens reliant on faith based outcomes? I certainly don't have any faith in Helen Clark's views after she sent our troops to Afghanistan in what I believe was an egregious action to leverage her eventual UN appointment. What can that women be seeking now?

I've just listened to RNZ news and there is no agreement. Canada will not agree at this stage. Don't where you got your info from but doesn't seem to be accurate.

'No chance' of TPP signing in Vietnam - Trade Minister David Parker

Labour not having a good opening week are they?
1/ Muffed the speaker election and ceded greater numbers to National on select committees, and then lied about it to public destroying their credibility in one fell-swoop.
2/ Jacinda does a flying visit to Australia that gets her slapped down for offering to take queue-jumping economic migrants from Manu island and instead results in Aussies being made aware that they can go to university for free in NZ (how about a sorry to the NZ taxpayers for that?)
3/ Now no TPP due to Canada - not Labour's fault, but no success to trumpet either.

" Foiled. How about finding some real issues to whinge about!

Good to see that Labour now in power have flip-flopped on their Jane Kelsey aligned 2016 opposition to TPP.

Yes it probably is very good to see because they appear to be fixing the problems of most concern to the NZ public inherent in trade deals.

Where are the rent a mob protests? Crickets.. interesting...

It wasn't trade we were opposed to, it was all the other fish hooks that we were, still watching though.

When will we see the revised agreement? MFAT and USTR still have the 2016 versions up.

Many of the mechanisms to enforce human and labour rights in Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei were through country-to-county auxiliary agreements with the US. I expect that these are now void, but the necessary legislation may have already been passed. Meanwhile the continued an ongoing US oversight over Vietnam's compliance with the labor and human rights provisions of the TPP is gone.

I'm curious to know how much the USA are still influencing trade negotiations between the 11 nations. I would say there would naturally be a lot of "behind closed doors" negotiations taking place that don't include the TPPA.
The fact most of it has lacked transparency suggests whatever "free" trade is signed off will have other costs and consequences for each country.
I would also like to know if NZ exporters are really going to be much better off?

Regardless, APEC was a good opportunity for the world to hear the truth about how each country can thrive in its own identity - through Trumps speech

Okay, so what does the Anti-Farming and Anti-Mining Coalition do with the thing? Oh, I know, build more houses and sell them to new residents, silly me.

The latest news articles are talking about ISDS concessions but no mention of banning foreigners from buying houses and land.

The reason we are hamstrung where passing an outright ban law goes is the fta with South Korea.

this must be when things start to get interesting.

The researcher on China soft power on TVOne Q&A this morning

Fascinating and a must see video. It covers much more than Chinese political interference. For example, I was particularly impressed with the success of our trade negotiations.

"All governments are trying to balance economic and security interests. It seems like New Zealand is much more towards the economic end of that spectrum and it's been willing to let the security aspect slide.". "Certainly there are risks this relationship will end up, in the long-term, end up undermining the liberal democratic principles New Zealand supports internationally."

Good news. As a small country we have to attract foreign capital for the long term health of the country - as a tiny country we can’t survive on a domestic economy. So it’s good that Labour has signalled that we are still ‘open for business’.

So long as there are protections against exploitation and we have the ability to keep foreign hands off our land and houses

Superhoops. Why do you think being small means we can't generate capital ? All it takes is spending less than we earn. It's true we are so far behind that it's going to take time to get there. But not a reason to avoid that first step.

I think there are two reasons. NZ’s capital markets are currently tiny, and this makes it hard to finance anything substantial. Decisions in the past to stop Super etc. didn’t help but we are where we are. So any major infrastructure projects for example rely on generating big sums of money raised from overseas. We could try to live within our means but this would mean a substantial drop in the standard of living for most Kiwis over time. This trade deal may not be the best but in my view we have to be part of it.

that is my concern, " we have to be part of it" under that thinking the last government was willing to sign away our sovereignty, this one has improved it slightly,
i prefer one on one FTA's they are much easier to manage and mitigate any downsides.
when i look at this 11 member agreement i see things we would never have agreed to appease a nation that means very little to us in terms of trade whilst not getting what we really want from say japan.
this looks so much like the EU where Germany and france call the shots and the small nations bend over to be in it

Better to be part of a bigger group in a globally diverse trading environment when you need foreign capital and rely on exports to prosper. Doesn’t mean you have to lose sovereignty, just means you need to compromise to get what’s best for the economic health of the country. And it looks like Jacinda has done a good job in modifying that compromise with respect to ISDS.
I think the UK has just made a massive mistake in leaving the EU. The EU isn’t perfect but better to be in the club than out.

"The Ardern Clause": So much for Jacinda being inexperienced. Robert Howse says NZ has retained the ability to opt out of ISDS:

So different from what you hear in the NZ media. I hadn't realised how pro national our media is.

It will be interesting to see how history rates John Key. I expect it will be very different from the propaganda that our main stream media have fed to the tv watchers of NZ. Some consider he will be rated our worst ever up to this point in time.

"Action Jacin" rides again.

Couldn't be done the "good ol boys" of National said. They were probably right in their case. They managed to do nothing over 9 years.....

Probably no surprise here, but the Greens still oppose the TPP/CPPTP. Here's their trade spokesperson tweeting their continued oppostiion;

Golriz Ghahraman‏ 

The Green Party still opposes the TPP while foreign investors can still sue our gov (present and future) to enforce their interests. We want to move toward modern trade model where climate protection & human rights are paramount and democracy is protected

So they are quite happy for New Zealand investors - including, for example, the Superfund and all the KiwiSaver fund managers - to have all of their rights and property destroyed by foreign governments on flimsy, unjustified pretexts, without any recourse?

If a Government measure is genuinely necessary to protect the environment, human rights etc, and it's properly implemented (ie with appropriate warning, consultation and explanation), then it's allowed.

But the Greens seem to be saying that Governments should be allowed to do anything, no matter how egregious or unfair. Regardless of whether it actually does anything for the environment at all, let alone whether it's the best or the only way to deliver the environmental objective - they just have to assert "it's for the environment" and that makes it all right.

If that's how they intend to manage New Zealand then they shouldn't be surprised if overseas companies stop wanting to do business here.

a) A government is a sovereign state and is voted into power to carry out the wishes of the majority of the voters, so "should be allowed to do anything, no matter how egregious or unfair. " in effect this is at the behest of the people.

b) I would certainly prefer this to allowing global corporations carte blanche and in effect being allowed to do anything they want with no legal recourse by the people.

c) Plus a change of Govn and law is a risk a business takes.

This isn't just "global corporations" - it also provides protections to NZ investors with interests and assets in other economies, such as all New Zealanders who have pension savings.

And it doesn't give investors "carte blanche". It is nothing like "in effect being allowed to do anything they want with no legal recourse by the people". They can't break the law, and they can't successfully challenge Government actions just because those actions are inconvenient to them. They have to show that the Government action is unjustified, discriminatory, not well-founded in evidence and sound analysis, not introduced according to proper process etc.

Certainly, if the NZ government thinks that retaining the ability to take action that is unjustified, discriminatory, not well-founded in evidence or supported by sound analysis, without consultation or notice, is more important than NZ's international reputation as a good place to do business - they have the option to retain that ability.

But there would be a price to be paid for that. Businesses and people in other countries can't be forced to do business with us if they don't want to. And if that is the signal they get from our Government, they won't want to. It is not hard to see who fits these categories here. Incidentally, not you Steven.


I would not be so quick as to call this a done deal just yet

Any news on the copyright extension? Now that America and it's Disney lobbyists are out, surely it's in everyone's interest to drop the extension of copyright to 70 years. Time for Mickey Mouse to hit the public domain.