September Trade Update
Date Added: 17 Sep 2013 from BusinessNZ
TPP – the only game in town
Activity around TPP is getting frenetic in the run up to the meeting of TPP leaders in the sidelines of the APEC summit in Bali in early October.
Further good progress was made by negotiators in Brunei at the last formal round of negotiations before Bali. But much more work needs to be done. Bali will not be the final TPP meeting, but will be important for resolving some big ticket items – such as the key issue of comprehensiveness (are rice, sugar and dairy going to be included in the liberalisation package?).
To prepare for Bali lead negotiators are this week assembling in Washington DC for further discussions and out of session negotiating sessions are being held on the two Chapters of the agreement where the most differences remain. Lead negotiators on State Owned Enterprises are meeting this week in Washington DC and next week Lead negotiators on Intellectual Property are meeting in Mexico.
While there is still some skepticism out there a number of lead negotiators believe that TPP might be completed by the end of the year. If this is to happen the key timing will be the WTO Ministerial meeting due to be held (again in Bali) 3-6 December. All the TPP Trade Ministers will be present and there would be an opportunity for final decisions to be taken. If this is the target then there is going to be intense activity between early October (when Leaders meet) and early December.
The agreement with Taiwan has been considered by the Select Committee here and no changes have been recommended. The Agreement will soon pass into New Zealand law. It is due to be considered shortly by the Taiwanese legislature but exact timing is unclear. The Speaker of the Taiwanese legislature was recently expelled from the ruling party and there is as a consequence some instability in the legislature at present.
Events are being held around New Zealand next week, Auckland, Hamilton, Hastings, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin to highlight the opportunities created by this agreement. ExportNZ members would be most welcome to attend the event nearest to them.