Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


No TPP deal unless dairy and Pharmac are in, says Key

No TPP deal unless dairy and Pharmac are in, says Key

By Pattrick Smellie

Nov 26 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand won't sign up to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal unless it includes an agreement to progressively abolish tariffs on agricultural products exported to North America, Prime Minister John Key said today.

With international negotiators for the trade pact due in New Zealand next week for the next round of talks on the TPP, Key also said it would "not a good look" if New Zealand made concessions that undermined the status of its drug-buying agency, Pharmac.

TPP opponents charge not only that the negotiations are too secretive, but that they are being driven by American companies' desire to exert greater control over US intellectual property in third markets.

Pharmac, which buys medications distributed through the public health system, has been a target of "big pharma" American drug manufacturers, who object to the fact New Zealand is sourcing lower cost generic pharmaceuticals which save the taxpayer money, but deny sales to the American producers of the original drug formulations.

Key gave no detail of New Zealand's negotiating position at his post-Cabinet press conference in Wellington today, but said New Zealand was "not prepared to see dairy excluded" from the deal.

Both Canada and the US impose high tariffs - as high as 300 percent in some cases in Canada - along with small quotas for total imports, and American dairy farmers have lobbied vigorously against opening their market up to competition from Fonterra, which they paint as monopolistic and anti-competitive.

"For New Zealand to do a deal, it has to be a deal on our terms," said Key, who met with TPP countries' leaders, including re-elected US President Barack Obama, on the fringes of last week's East Asian economic summit, where a new commitment was made to conclude TPP negotiations in 2013.

New Zealand was a prime mover in establishing the TPP initiative in 2007, which the US later joined, and which has become a priority for the Obama administration as it seeks to engage more deeply with the Asian region and to stimulate its own economy.

"President Obama is deadly serious about wanting to do a deal," said Key. "He believes he can get a deal done."

But New Zealand could not sign up to a deal that excluded dairy exports, the country's largest industry.

Following the US elections earlier this month, Obama's Democratic Party controls the US federal Senate, where much opposition to TPP has come from in the past, although the Republican Party controls the federal Congress, the US Lower House of Representatives.

Other TPP negotiating nations are Singapore, Australia, Mexico, Brunei, Chile, Peru, Vietnam, and Malaysia, with Thailand signalling at least week's summit in Cambodia that it also wished to join. Japan is also continuing to show interest.

At the same meeting, New Zealand signed up to negotiation of a separate trade pact, the Regional Economic Cooperation Partnership, which includes the countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations and China, but not the US.

However, RCEP is seen as likely to take longer than TPP to conclude and is less committed to what trade negotiators call a "high quality" agreement which seeks to limit the extent of special exclusions to meet member countries' trade sensitivities.

Opponents of the TPP are conducting briefings in Wellington and Auckland this week, in concert with the Green Party.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news