TPP ‘down to the wire’ says Prime Minister

By Heta Gardiner

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrived in Vietnam overnight and it was straight to work. The Prime Minister says her ministers have already been engaged in intense Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in the past days in Vietnam. It looks as though all are pushing hard for a resolution, whatever the outcome.

The Labour leader said “The negotiations will go on into the night, for as long as it potentially takes.”

She said that they were getting very close to a resolution, but what that resolution is, looks to be very much still up for grabs. “It’s fair to say these negotiations are down to the wire. We don’t know what the outcome will be,” said the Prime Minister.

The TPP has been marred in controversy in New Zealand since negotiations began.  Opposition among Māori has centered around concerns that provisions in the trade deal could trample on Māori treaty rights.  National was strongly in favour of the TPP, but with America's withdraw after the election of Donald Trump and Labour's desire to renegotiate aspects, the deal appears to be on thin ice. 

The government is holding their ground. “We made it clear what our prerogative is and our focus is and that’s the ISDS clauses and doing what we can to improve New Zealand’s position,” said Ardern. Though she did acknowledge that they were coming in on the back foot. “We came in late, it hasn’t been, but it doesn’t mean we’re not giving up.”

 Investor State Dispute Resolution (ISDS) clauses are provisions which potentially allow corporations to sue the government of their host country.