Comprehensive and Progressive, the Time for CPTPP is Now

by | Mar 5, 2018 | Trade Working Blog


It takes the power of a good idea. A “comprehensive and progressive” version of Trans Pacific Partnership will be signed by eleven members of the original fellowship in Santiago on 8 March. The good idea is that trade and investment can be boosted by more open markets and better trade rules.

Some mistakenly see trade as a “zero sum game” – we can only win if others lose, or if others win we must be losing. New Zealand has very little to do to implement CPTPP which preserves much of the old TPP. The original text and list of 22 amendments can be viewed on the MFAT web site.

What CPTPP does for New Zealand is to:
• Open up new markets by cutting the tariffs that our exporters have to pay, especially in four economies – Japan, Mexico, Canada and Peru
• Tackle non-tariff barriers, which add costs and make things more difficult for exporters
• Provide for easier trade in smart, innovative, knowledge-heavy sectors such as IT, consultancy, transport, logistics, distribution or computer services • Include rules to promote an open digital economy, the next frontier of trade
• Include specific commitments to make it easier for small firms to do business
• Set up a framework of other rules including good environmental practices and decent labour standards – which go further than any trade agreement to date.

Critically, CPTPP fully preserves the New Zealand Government’s right to regulate in the national interest in areas like public health, the environment and to meet its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.

The agreement continues to offer rights to foreign investors, including a means of settling legitimate disputes where those rights are infringed, but the scope for such actions is now more limited. The Government sees this agreement as a forerunner of a new progressive and inclusive trade agenda. This too is a good idea – to make trade work better for everyone and to improve the way these agreements are negotiated.

TPP has been a long time coming. Despite the long shadow cast over the international trading system by a certain Administration in the United States, the time for TPP is surely now.

This opinion editorial was written by NZIBF Director Stephen Jacobi and originally published on Newshub.


Register to stay up to date with latest news, as well as saving and discussing articles you’re interested in.




Latest News

NZIBF 2022 Chair Report

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2022 CHAIR’S REPORT I am pleased to present my second report on the activities and achievements of the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) for 2022-23, our fifteenth year of operations.  At the outset I would like to thank Members for...


New Zealand business will be represented at the APEC Leaders’ Week in Bangkok, commencing 13 November, by members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). New Zealand’s three members – Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Anna Curzon – supported by Stephen Jacobi...

Submission to MFAT for CPTPP Review

30 September 2022 Phil Mellor Economic Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wellington (By email) Dear Phil, Thank you for your email of 1 September, seeking our comments on the three year review of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans...


The now widespread use of the term “Indo Pacific” to describe the region to which New Zealand belongs brings a risk of geographical confusion. When did the “Asia Pacific” become the Indo Pacific?   For thirty years or more New Zealand has sought to enhance...

NZ Herald: Turbulence in global trade

Amidst the political topsy turvy of recent weeks came the news that the Government has refreshed its Trade Recovery Strategy.  That’s good news because, for exporters and the global economy as a whole, it’s tough out there. The pandemic is by no means over, there...

Address to World Affairs Forum, 22 August 2022

ADDRESS TO THE WORLD AFFAIRS FORUM AUCKLAND, 22 AUGUST 2022 STEPHEN JACOBI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NZ INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS FORUM TURBULENCE IN GLOBAL TRADE Thanks to Greg Thwaite for inviting me to speak to you this evening. It’s good to be back in the habit of meeting...

Trade and Climate Change: State of Play

TRADE AND CLIMATE CHANGE: STATE OF PLAY. A discussion paper prepared for the NZIBF by Adrian Macey, June 2022. Download here. Update: NZ-EU FTA The NZ-EU FTA has been finalised.  Article X.6 of the  trade and sustainable development chapter is on trade and...