Groser adamant TPP will be a good for NZ

Trade Minister Tim Groser

Trade Minister Tim Groser is adamant that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be a good for the country.

“I am absolutely certain that this will be a great deal for New Zealand along the lines we’re negotiating.”

Tim Groser is confident the TPP will have a marginal impact on public institutions like Pharmac.

“It certainly won’t result in higher prices for pharmaceutical products for New Zealanders.  This is really about protecting the model of Pharmac to ensure that they’re in a tough negotiating position with international pharmaceutical companies, and we’ve got some very good negotiators who are doing just that.”             

Groser says parallel importing will continue as long as it’s consistent with intellectual property law.

“There’s some complicated issues about the interface of this with copyright and that’s a legitimate concern, and our negotiators will work their way through those issues.”

He concedes that this negotiation is the ‘most complicated negotiation’ that he has ever seen.

He denies concerns that Fonterra will have to be broken up.

“Fonterra is not at risk.  This is a negotiating tactic used by those people who want to restrict New Zealand’s access into their market because this is something New Zealand’s deeply competitive, but we will work our way through those issues.”

Groser says the TPP will create thousands of jobs for New Zealanders and open up huge opportunities for our export industries.

“The crucial element …is that our principal export items are not excluded from comprehensive liberalisation.  That’s the real red line.  I think in terms of concerns around Pharmac, we’ve already made it abundantly clear that we will defend those public institutions, and we will ensure that there is policy space for future governments.“
              
He is defending the need for secrecy around the agreement.

“You have to understand this that if you put out texts into the public with different and conflicting negotiating positions, lobbies who are opposed to change will seize on that
text, will try to stop the negotiators showing any compromise. “

He says that we have already lowered the barriers to competitive imports in this country, almost more than any country in this negotiation and haven’t got much to lose.

“Frankly, we haven’t.  If we were talking about where we were in the mid-‘80s, my goodness me, I remember when I was involved first in the Treasury and then in Foreign Affairs in the CER negotiations, where we had, you know, massive import licensing, high, high tariffs. “

Tim Groser hopes to have the TPP signed by the end of the year.

Watch the full interview here.

More: Read Vikram Kumar's response to Mr Groser's Q&A appearance.
 

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6 Comments & Questions

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possible implications of corporations being able to take the government to court because of the fine print in this complex deal. way to go national, really screwing us over again

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No different from other trade agreements in this regard, including agreements negotiated by Labour. So, let's just keep the politics out of it.

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create 1000's of jobs in which sectors?

how many jobs will it destroy in which sectors?

each trade aggreement has destroyed on shore jobs, to a lesser or greater extent in the pursuit of better access for dairy product
great for dairy, a bain for manufacturing!!

on balance what is the real outcome?

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Yes, it's up to this government to make specific representations about how this "agreement" will help NZers. To me, it seems a dogmatic need to kiss up to the US corporatocracy is their prime objective... and I fail to see the benefits to the rest of us in doing that.

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Good for US drug companies and their ilk. Groser's naive cargo-cult belief in the 'level playing field' is touching, but totally out of touch.

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The general move of Tim Groser and the Nat government is to the left and Groser's real enthusiasm is for expanding trade with Russia, China and India, (Q & A interview with Sue Wood, 2013) the triple axis of Russian missile equipped navy's. The priority and likelihood of a useful TPP for free trade with the US seems less likely to include NZ and seems just a tactical move to disguise the NZ and MFAT move to the left. At the time of the Sylviia Nasar, Max Hasting book selling visit to NZ the chair Sean Plunkett commented that a few weeks before leading US officials had made a secret visit to NZ to express their bewilderment at NZ's move into China's orbit which they viewed as inexplicable. Max Hastings the former UK Daily Telegraphy dictatorship put it reasonably clearly to NZers. China and Russia were basically a tyranny and 2 military dictatorships.
The value of Pharmac remains doubtful. My own view is the patients and clients should select their own drugs and simply buy the drugs of their own choice, cutting out the middlemen of specialists, GPs and Pharmace. Pharmac believes it makes the best choices for citizens ,but everyone is different and the idea of Pharmac that priorities for individuals drug expenditure should relate to employment potential and degree of genetic causation of illness is an outdated Communist/Nazi approach discredited by recent research into the human gernome and other studies showing little evidence of genetic causation of mental illness.

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