The government must pull out all the stops to complete TPP11 in Vietnam this weekend and it can be assured of National’s support for a high-quality free trade agreement if it does so, says National Party Leader Bill English.
“New Zealand has been at the forefront of both initiating the original TPP agreement and then pulling TPP11 back together after the US withdrew," he says.
"Officials and Ministers have done the hard work, it’s time to finish the job.
“The former government took the lead because the agreement has such significant benefits for New Zealand – including significantly improved access to the world’s third-largest economy, Japan.
“It will help grow jobs and incomes for New Zealanders, and in spite of Labour’s previous opposition, and opposition from its fellow governing parties NZ First and the Greens, it now needs get the agreement over the line.
“Agreements have already been reached to remove or restrict a number of concessions granted to the US under the original TPP12 agreement, including around biologics and intellectual property.
“This should make TPP more palatable to Labour’s support partners who have a long history of voting against all free trade agreements.
Engish says regardless of the decisions of those support partners, National will guarantee their support for the agreement because "we will do what’s best for New Zealand".
"Taking a bipartisan approach to TPP11 also means Labour can finish the job and not be held hostage by NZ First or the Greens in parliament," he adds.
“Most of the work has been done already. It is a high-quality trade deal that will have real benefits for all 11 countries. It’s time to sign it.”