Trans-Pacific trade pact has been signed

Feb 9, 2016
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John Key said that today is a very significant day, for New Zealand as well as for all the other 11 countries that are part of this Trans Pacific Partnership.

At a forum held during Hoang’s visit to New Zealand on Wednesday, officials from Viet Nam and New Zealand signed memoranda of understanding on fostering trade relations, industrial investment and business facilitation between two countries.

The US-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was signed by 12 countries in New Zealand, would bolster American leadership overseas and support good jobs at home, Obama said.

“Australia already has free trade agreements with nine of the 12 TPP countries, and a World Bank study shows there will be minuscule trade gains after 15 years”, Ranald said.

The list includes: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan.

Everyone knows the real fight will be in Congress, where this unpopular and anti-democratic deal faces fierce opposition from both sides of the aisle. China is not a member of the TPP.

“We welcome the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which presents a tremendous opportunity for American workers, farmers and businesses – and for the entire United States economy”, said Doug Oberhelman, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc and Chairman of Business Roundtable.

Hundreds of protesters set up camp in front of the Sky City Convention Center in Auckland, where the signing took place, while thousands of others blockaded nearby streets and highway ramps around the area, bringing traffic to a standstill.

China may yet surprise by seeking to join TPP.

U.S. trade representative Michael Froman, in Auckland, said the agreement was “never directed against” any specific country and “it’s important to have a constructive economic relationship” with China. They now have another two years to get their legislators to sign off on the arrangements before it can be introduced. This isn’t unusual for trade negotiations: Leaders of countries don’t want details to leak out before the final agreement is reached.

Elements of the deal will require the green light from parliament. A government website says the agreement will make it easier for USA goods and services to be sold, in the fastest growing markets in the world.

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