Many fish hooks are being hidden under the ultra-secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - and their full implications will be very unexpected and painful.
Article by Vikram Kumar for The National Business Review:
Trade Minister Tim Groser was smooth and soothing on Q+A this morning, talking about the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Like the skilled politician he is, the average viewer is likely to have been reassured that the Government is doing a wonderful job to further New Zealand’s interests.
Minister Groser did an excellent job of hiding the jagged edges. Trust us he cooed. We’ve got the best and most experienced negotiators. There are only upsides for New Zealand. All is well, we’re a safe pair of hands.
And, he is right to some extent. New Zealand has benefited from trade agreements and are well represented in the negotiations. Yet there are real dangers, real potential downsides. They can’t be wished away or simply ignored.
Not a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
My biggest frustration is the continued insistence of politicians and the mainstream media in calling the TPP a FTA.
The underlying message is that New Zealand has done so many successful TPAs in the past, our experienced negotiators should be trusted to do another one.