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TPPA signing will be a historic farce

Fletcher Tabuteau MP
Spokesperson for Trade and Commerce

12 JANUARY 2016

TPPA signing will be a historic farce

New Zealand First is questioning why a farcical TPPA signing will take place just before Waitangi Day, when United States lawmakers are unlikely to vote on the TPP before November’s Presidential election and US public opinion against it is growing.

“With leading Democrat and Republican Presidential candidates openly critical of the TPPA, the legislative clock is increasingly against the US passing it into law,” says New Zealand First Trade Spokesperson Fletcher Tabuteau.

“The TPPA itself may be a lame duck as ‘Inside Trade’ notes. In the US most free trade bills are only considered once their International Trade Commission publishes an economic assessment on it.

“That economic assessment isn’t expected until May 18, leaving only a small window before US lawmakers start their summer recess on July 15. When they return in September, any TPPA push would put it at the front and centre of the U.S. Presidential election.

“What is the point of a PR ‘signing exercise’ being undertaken here in New Zealand when the TPPA is in a holding pattern until the United States and Japan pass legislation?

“Even basing the merits of this supposed trade deal solely on the trade elements itself, we must also ask what is the point of ‘signing the TPPA’ when the Japanese government has just recently increased subsidies to its farmers,” says Mr Tabuteau.

ENDS

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