February Trade Update
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on the Trans Pacific Partnership is due for signature in Santiago, Chile on 8 March 2018.
The text of the agreement has also been released along with a revised National Interest Analysis.
Following signature the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Select Committee will be calling for submissions as part of the ratification process for this Agreement.
Any six of the 11 parties to this agreement need to ratify the Agreement for it to come into force.
New Trade Strategy
The new Government is working on some new policy settings for future FTAs.
Future agreements containing investor state dispute settlement are unlikely to be supported. There is also talk of making chapters on SMEs, women and trade, trade and indigenous people, and trade and sustainability (with enforceable standards) part of all future agreements.
CPTPP does have a Chapter on SMEs. The Canada-Chile FTA has a chapter on Trade and Women. The New Zealand – Taiwan FTA has a Chapter on Indigenous People. And we have negotiated FTAs without ISDS before. However, insisting on all these elements would be quite a departure and might complicate our chances of securing future outcomes. We expect the Government to consult on any new strategy.
The third round of negotiations with the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico) begin in Chile next week. We will be getting a briefing when the lead negotiator returns to New Zealand. This will be the first test of the new Government’s new trade agenda.
In our last issue we noted that we had been informed (actually by a MEP) that not one French MEP has voted in favour of the FTA with New Zealand. This was incorrect. We thank the French Embassy for drawing this to our attention.
We still do not seem to have a mandate to begin negotiations. This was initially expected in November 2017.