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February 26, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Labour Does About Turn on TPP

Countries who participated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations will sign a revised agreement on March 8, following the United States’ decision to withdraw in May 2017.

The revised agreement, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), is to be signed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Despite similarities between the CPTPP and the TPP, the revised agreement “suspends” 22 items from the original TPP, meaning these provisions will not have effect without agreement of all CPTPP members.

Three of the major provisions which have been suspended are: Annex 26A Article 3, which removed protections for Pharmac’s purchasing model; some parts of Article 9, which would allow businesses to sue the Government for investment contract breaches; and Article 18.63, which would require New Zealand to extend the term of protection for copyright from 50 years to 70 years.

Labour and NZ First are supporting the CPTPP despite their vocal opposition to the TPP. TPP critic Jane Kelsey described this as “a lack of political backbone” in The Spinoff, stating that the Government should have commissioned a revised independent economic assessment and health impact analyses, which it called for in opposition. However, Minister of Trade David Parker stated in January that the agreement would see the standard of living improve for everyone “from a freezing worker, to the owner”.

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