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Mr Parker’s side letters make no real difference

Todd McClay - Foreign Affairs and Trade

20 March 2018

Mr Parker’s side letters make no real difference

National Party Trade spokesperson Todd McClay says that the Trade Minister should stop pretending he ‘fixed’ the TPP with his side letters and admit that they have no real effect on the agreement.

“The Government hinging its support of the revised TPP on the changes made to the ISDS clauses by five side letters is completely farcical,” Mr McClay says.

“Four of the side letters signed by the Government do not represent countries that have any significant investment into New Zealand and as a result make no material change to the ISDS requirements for New Zealand.

“The combined overseas investment of the four new countries, Malaysia, Vietnam, Peru and Brunei Darussalam total less than half of a per cent of the overall foreign investment to New Zealand.

“Considering that the ISDS clauses were the main issue for Labour and New Zealand First, the fact that they are now using these carve-outs as justification to sign the ‘revised’ agreement is completely ridiculous.

“Further to this, the side letter that was signed with Australia is identical to the side letter that National negotiated. So there is no change at all to the ISDS clauses for Australia.

“Mr Parker should stop acting like the TPP has been ‘fixed’ and come clean to his colleagues and the country on the fact that his changes make no material difference.

“National negotiated a good deal for New Zealand and it remains a good deal. The Government needs to stop playing internal politics with the TPP and they all need to get on board with the agreement.”

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