The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free trade agreement (FTA) designed to 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.
TPP would give New Zealand better access to globally significant markets. It would 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.
TPP would also set a new standard for trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region, generating substantial long-term economic and strategic benefits for New Zealand and promoting the growth of regional supply chains.
Signed by the 12 countries on 4 February 2016 in Auckland, the Agreement has not yet entered into force. On 23 January 2017 United States President Donald Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to withdraw the US from TPP.
In light of the US withdrawal, representatives from the 11 remaining members met in March 2017 and affirmed the economic and strategic importance of TPP, particularly as a vehicle for regional economic integration. They agreed that senior trade officials would consult over the coming months to consider next steps for the Agreement.
In May 2017, ministers from the remaining 11 members met in Viet Nam and agreed on the value of realising the benefits of the Agreement. They agreed to launch a process to assess options to bring the TPP into force expeditiously, including how to facilitate membership for the original signatories.
The ministers have tasked their senior trade officials to engage to take forward the preparation of this assessment. Ministers asked for this work to be completed before they meet in the margins of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting on 10-11 November 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam.
Read the full statement here [external link]
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 was not of itself legally binding) in February 2016, TPP signatories 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 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 introduced the legislative amendments necessary for New Zealand to ratify TPP, went through Parliamentary procedures, including select committee scrutiny. The Bill was passed on 15 November and received Royal Assent on 21 November.
On 11 May, New Zealand ratified the TPP agreement following Cabinet's approval for New Zealand to notify the Depositary of the TPP that New Zealand has completed its applicable legal procedures necessary to become a Party to the Agreement when the TPP enters into force. None of the implementing legislation or regulations will come into force until or unless the TPP enters into force. The Agreement as it stands cannot enter into force without the US.
Read the full statement here [external link)
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