United Future supports free trade and the opportunities agreements like the TPPA and all the other Free Trade Agreements successive New Zealand governments have made over the last 50 years or so because they create opportunities for manufacturers and exporters to sell their products overseas and create jobs and wealth for New Zealanders in return.
The TPP is an agreement between New Zealand and eleven of our Pacific neighbours: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Those countries account for 36% of the global economy and about 40% of New Zealand exports.
According to the Government, the tariff reductions brought about by the TPP will result in around $260 million of tariff savings a year. That’s $260 million that stays in New Zealand pockets rather than paying for the tariffs of our trading partners. That money stays here and can be spent on the Kiwi families and businesses that make our country so valuable.
As an isolated, small exporting nation New Zealand needs to be engaged in international trade to be able to survive, and offer its people a decent standard of living.
The TPP is set to be signed on 4 February 2016; the process that then follows is that the TPP will go through the Parliamentary treaty examination process. Importantly, political parties will not vote on the TPP itself, though there will likely be legislative changes that will be required. These will progress via normal parliamentary procedure. In both of these situations, the public will have their chance to comment on the specifics of the agreement.
We are a trading nation; the TPP moves us towards greater economic ties with our international neighbours in the Pacific and accounts for a significant portion of New Zealand exports. Sitting on the outside of this agreement as our partners move on with it would be sabotaging our ability to trade freely and fairly with the rest of the pacific and that would be unthinkable.