No need to worry about TPP - Groser
"Mr Groser, your assurances are worth very little unless we can see the text of the agreement before NZ signs. Your assurance that the US' IP regime must be OK, as it's the 'most innovative country in the world' is terrifying"Featured comment
Critics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership don’t need to worry about intellectual property issues or paying more for drugs, says Trade Minister Tim Groser.
Speaking on TV3’s The Nation, Mr Groser said there was no need for concern about the content of the agreement currently being negotiated by 12 countries.
“When this deal is done, I am certain that I and the Prime Minister will be able to come in from of New Zealanders and say: ‘this is virtually all upside’.”
“In relative terms, New Zealand will gain more than any country in TPP ... the structure of these massive protective barriers that will come down will benefit New Zealand more than any country in this negotiation.”
But earlier on the TV3’s The Nation, Labour leader David Cunliffe said he was concerned about the TPP's impacts on Pharmac and intellectual property.
“We have to make sure that the impacts on Pharmac which saves New Zealanders $1.2 billion on taxpayers’ money a year are not excessive.
“If the intellectual property provisions were such that New Zealand companies, which are smaller on average than American ones, couldn’t get a patent, that wouldn’t work for us.”
But Mr Groser hit back, and said concerns about intellectual property and patents under the TPP had been “wildly exaggerated”.
He said the United States is the “most innovative country in the world” so their intellectual property law could hardly chill innovation.
New Zealanders would not be paying more for drugs as a result of TPP, Mr Groser said.
“I’ve said categorically Pharmac is not on the table.”