NZ Foolish To Sign Up To Dead TPPA With Japan

The government is back at it again - they were told in February 2016 by New Zealand First that the TPPA was a dead duck, but they went to SkyCity with much fanfare and signed up regardless.

“Now they are foolishly signing up to some sort of ‘ratification’ of a dead TPPA, with fewer partners,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“In explanation, the government claims it is about ‘better access to important markets’ and ‘with Japan we show leadership’ . But what a tall order. It puts one in mind of a former Prime Minister (Muldoon) talking of dragging Japan kicking and screaming into the 20th century.

“The TPPA was over in February 2016. This week the government, Don Quixote style, has ratified it in an attempt to resurrect it without the US, which much of it was written for.

“In its negotiations at the time New Zealand was getting little from Japan. Japan was only opening its domestic market to 3,188 tons of butter and skim milk powder.  Then five years later it would have reached 3,719 tons in each category. That is a pathetically small volume. 

“The government and the TPPA cheerleaders need to remember Japanese farmers are the most subsidised farmers in the world with $US45 billion every year in direct support.

“We need a decent free trade deal with Japan. New Zealand First is all for free trade deals that benefit us, but going through the TPPA is not the best approach.

“By all means negotiate with Japan, but not with rose-tinted glasses so you can tick off a deal, but come away the loser.

“The TPPA was not a free trade deal, but an international corporate protection racket, covering a wide range of laws which challenged our national sovereignty, giving legal preference in a court not of New Zealand’s choosing. That’s just to highlight just some of its defects,” says Mr Peters.