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TPP risks overstated

6 November 2015


TPP risks overstated

It will take time to consider the full text of the Trans Pacific Partnership, but it is clear that many of the issues raised by critics as risks have been overstated, says ExportNZ.

ExportNZ Executive Director Catherine Beard says in particular, the risk from investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions has been grossly exaggerated by critics.

“The ISDS provisions in the TPP text are within the normal range of such provisions agreed in many other free trade agreements, and are not a threat to New Zealand’s sovereignty.

“ISDS provisions are a sensible protection for the parties involved, by allowing arbitration if investors are unfairly discriminated against by a government and suffer damage as a consequence.

“For example, if a government illegally confiscates business assets - that is usually a rogue decision by an unpredictable government. ISDS cases that have gone to arbitration have related to only a handful of governments with extreme policies.

“Countries that uphold the rule of law and uphold strong institutions do not get targeted with ISDS claims.

“New Zealand has particularly good rule of law, sound institutions and freedom from corruption, and for New Zealanders the ISDS provisions are a protection rather than a threat.

“The TPP text indicates the large scale of the benefits New Zealand will receive.

“An initial reading of the TPP reveals that New Zealand will profit significantly from the cutting of extremely high tariffs currently imposed on many of our exports.

ends

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