The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free trade agreement (FTA) that will liberalise trade and investment between 12 Pacific-rim countries: New Zealand, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.
It was signed by the 12 countries on 4 February 2016 in Auckland, but has not yet entered into force.
TPP will give New Zealand better access to globally significant markets. It will diversify New Zealand's trade and investment relationships, and provide a platform to build on the NZ$28 billion of New Zealand goods and services exported to TPP countries in 2014.
New Zealand's future is as a trading nation. TPP will help support that by setting a new standard for trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region, generating substantial long-term economic and strategic benefits for New Zealand.
TPP will be open to future expansion. It provides a platform for wider, regional economic integration, and supports the foundation for a free trade agreement of the Asia Pacific. This gives New Zealand the opportunity to shape future trade liberalisation in the Asia Pacific region and promote the growth of regional supply chains.
New Zealand released a version of the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, on behalf of the 12 members of the TPP and in its capacity as Depositary of the Agreement, on 5 November 2015. The final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was released on 26 January 2016.
Following signature of TPP (which is not of itself legally binding) on 4 February 2016 in Auckland, TPP signatories have turned their focus to their respective domestic processes necessary to ratify TPP.
As with all New Zealand FTAs, TPP underwent Parliamentary treaty examination. This involved the final text of the agreement, together with a National Interest Analysis, being presented to Parliament for examination by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee. The Select Committee released its report [external link] on 4 May 2016.
Following this, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill [external link] was introduced to the House of Representatives on 9 May 2016. The Bill, which introduces the legislative amendments necessary to ratify TPP, will go through Parliamentary procedures, including select committee scrutiny. The TPP agreement itself cannot be modified unilaterally by New Zealand, but there is some flexibility in the way various measures can be implemented through domestic legislation and regulation.
TPP could come into force by late 2017/early 2018, once countries have completed their respective domestic procedures necessary to ratify the agreement.
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