TPP – opportunity for local business

Column Articles
Thursday, October 8, 2015

I understand people’s concerns about the recently agreed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). In any situation, when there is some secrecy and high stakes involved, our imaginations can create situations of Steven Spielberg proportions.

Not everyone is hysterical about the TPP, but predictably the rational voices of society get drowned out by the extremists as reported in the media.

We need sensibility, not sensationalism.

Fundamentally, wealth is created by providing goods and services which people are willing to pay for. In the case of New Zealand with a tiny domestic market, we’re dependent on getting our products to offshore markets. Fortress New Zealand isn’t an option.

Currently our exporters have tariffs imposed on their goods and services overseas, making them eye-wateringly expensive for millions of people.

The TPP will benefit New Zealand $2.7 billion each year and save our businesses $259 million each year in tariffs when fully implemented. Local kiwifruit growers will save $15 million in tariffs alone. We’ll have 800 million potential customers in twelve countries making up nearly 40 percent of the world’s GDP.

The fears which abounded during the closed-door negotiations (as with every free trade negotiation) can also now be laid to rest. The Pharmac model is protected, medicines will cost Kiwis the same, tobacco companies can’t sue over control measures, and foreign companies don’t have control over New Zealand’s law-making ability.

New Zealanders will see the TPP is very positive for our country. You’ll also have the opportunity to review the deal and provide feedback through the Parliamentary Select Committee process before it takes effect.