Little: Labour unlikely to support TPP

Labour Leader Little Andrew

Labour Leader Little Andrew

After two weeks of total silence on the matter, Andrew Little has come out of the woodwork to declare “his party” won’t support the TPP as it fails 4 out 5 of the bottom lines for him.

Labour leader Andrew Little says the Trans-Pacific Partnership appears to fail four out of the party’s five bottom lines for supporting the deal.
The Labour Party will meet Trade Minister Tim Groser today to get its first briefing on the 12-nation trade deal.

Mr Little said Labour’s position would not be clear until the full text was released after 30 days, but from the details released so far, it did not appear that his party could back the TPP.

Only one of Labour’s bottom lines, the upholding of the Treaty of Waitangi, had been met.

Mr Little said the TPP deal appeared to fail the other bottom lines – the protection of Pharmac, the ability to regulate in the public interest and to restrict sales of residential property and farmland, and meaningful gains for dairy farming.

He said a Labour Government would flout the trade deal by banning non-resident purchases of residential property or farmland. He was confident discussions would not divide his party, which includes several MPs who favour free trade.

Labour is going to commit to breaching a free trade agreement as soon as it is able to do so. ? No matter that Labour was the party that delivered the FTA with China, and no matter that Labour Goddess Helen Clark decreed that New Zealand needed to be inside the tent.

Mr Little said if his party ends up having a scrap with other TPP parties, on issues such as restricting foreign ownership of New Zealand land, then it will do so.

“It would go to the TPP commission first, the interesting thing there of course is what would Australia say, or Malaysia, or Vietnam or countries that have the very sort of restriction that we intended to enact here in New Zealand?

“So we will have that argument because we know that not every TPP country would support challenging us about it.”

Asked if that includes pulling out of the TPP, Mr Little said his party would always reserve the right to do so.


I predict that there will be a last minute flip-flop and Labour will actually ratify the agreement. ? Because this is just more of their usual “we’re against everything the government does” strategy. ? In the event the TPP passes without Labour’s votes, and they go on record as being anti-free trade, it will be a huge strategic blunder. ? In the same year they have come out against Chinese buying stuff (while Australians and Americans are OK), they do a 180 and are now vehemently against free trade? ?That’s hardly “business friendly”, and betrays their protectionist union masters setting policy that belongs in last century.


– A newspaper, NewstalkZB via ODT