Labour have started the back-down on TPP

We're winning I tell you, we're winning

We’re cancelling the TPP I tell you!  Or not.  I haven’t decided.

Only yesterday Andrew Little all but guaranteed a Labour-led government would do whatever it had in its power to overturn the TPP.

And today, Andrew Little has started a hasty retreat.

Labour leader Andrew Little says it is unlikely the party would withdraw from the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPPA) free trade deal if it gains power, following a meeting with Trade Minister Tim Groser to discuss the agreement.

Little and Trade Minister Tim Groser met on Monday evening to discuss the provisions of the TPPA in further detail, after the 12-nation free trade agreement was signed last week.

Little told Radio New Zealand the party still had a number of unanswered questions about the deal, but was unlikely to pull out of the agreement if it gained power at the next election.

“Although any party has the ability on six months’ notice to walk away from the agreement, from New Zealand’s point of view, that’d be a pretty serious call to make.

“I think it is unlikely: we’ve got what we’ve got, we’re now committed to it because the National Government has made us committed to it, [and] we will deal with that when we are in government.”

Little said a Labour government would take a “responsible” approach to the deal, but would flout provisions of the deal if they were not in New Zealanders’ best interests.

The party would take up any opportunity to re-negotiate the deal, but Little conceded that would be unlikely to succeed.

“If I’m being realistic about that, the practicality of re-negotiating with 11 other countries for issues that are important to us is pretty remote…that is the reality of this sort of agreement.”

That took less time than I predicted.  Less than 24 hours in fact.  Which leads me to a serious question:  Is Andrew Little ignoring advice, is he exclusively union controlled, or is he flapping in the breeze making it up as he goes along without any support systems?

It’s one of those answers, and none of them bode well for Mr Little.

This is a spectacular flip-flop from Little, who has probably had a few people screaming in his ears that all the hard work trying to fool business that Labour are “business friendly” was once again exposed as an empty gesture.

Labour are the parliamentary wing of the unions.  Unions are militant and anti business.  Unions are anti free trade.  From that perspective, Andrew Little did his job perfectly.

But the problem is that the rest of his party, and most of the voters he wants to take from National can see the benefit in the TPP.   The Helen Clark disciples got the message loud and clear.    And even Ardern who is having a run at deputy leader has spent time and sweated bricks trying to get business to accept her as a credible and capable business friendly minister in waiting.

All blown up by Andrew Little in less than a day.


– Sam Sachdeva, Jo Moir, Stuff

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