Thursday, 6th August, 2015
It’s probably a good thing the negotiators at the TPPA talks have packed their bags and gone home for now, says Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.
“Achieving agreement across such a range of countries and their comprehensive issues was never going to be easy,” Mr Barnett said.
“The good news is that the TPPA is still live, and the prospect of reaching an agreement still within reach.
“It means the conversation can continue, and I am confident it will.
“At least everyone is now clearly aware of the sticking points and where the constraints lie. For New Zealand these are improved access for our dairy products, and the possibility of some change to our IP regime.
“By taking our place at the negotiating table there were always going to be concessions sought, and given in pursuit of even greater gains.
“Many New Zealanders have expressed their concern over a lack of disclosure on what these concessions might mean; the government has not communicated well on the benefits on offer, or on the possible costs.
“A successful TPP agreement would deliver a significant increase in the buying power for the average Kiwi household.
“So it would be helpful even now to hear much more about the possible gains, as well as on how the costs of achieving them will be met,” Mr Barnett concluded.