Prime Minister John Key has reinforced the benefits of the Trans Pacific Partnership in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York today.
Mr Key told the Council he welcomes the priority that the US Administration has placed on TPP’s passage through Congress this year.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will help liberalise trade and investment between 12 Pacific-rim countries,” says Mr Key. “It will provide better access for goods and services to more than 800 million people across the TPP countries, which make up 36 per cent of global GDP.
“For New Zealand, it’s estimated it will boost our economy by at least $2.7 billion a year by 2030. It will help diversify our economy and create more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders.
“And the reality is that these benefits will grow as other countries join the TPP – a number have already signalled an interest in doing so.”
Mr Key says while some in the US might not think the TPP is the perfect deal, the idea that it can be renegotiated to get a better outcome is unrealistic.
“The region will not wait for you. Asian countries are determined to grow and they realise to grow they need to remove trade barriers. This will happen with or without the United States.”
Mr Key says the benefits of the TPP are wider than just economic.
“Free trade agreements not only lift exports and create jobs they also help solidify political relationships and help increase security.
It is unlikely that the US will ratify the TPP. Both Clinton and Trump have come out against it. I don’t know if this is happening, but we should already be working on a Plan B without the US. The absence of the US from the TPP doesn’t make all the other trade related concessions and measures useless.