Responding to Sustainability Council TPP Criticism

by | Mar 3, 2014 | Uncategorized


It always good to see others enter the discussion about the merits of the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. In this vein we were pleased to the Sustainability Council contribute. It was however disappointing that their report contained no new data or information.

The Honolulu based East West Center study, led by Professor Peter Petri drew its conclusions from hard data and peer reviewed modeling. We acknowledge that economic models will always be debated and they should be. The Sustainability Council’s report offers little more than a detailed critique of the Petri study modelling though and no alternative modelling is offered to gauge the impact of TPP.

It is not just empirical literature that suggests there are gains from reducing non-tariff barriers and easing impediments to investment, modern businesses are also saying the same thing.

The non-tariff dimensions to trade agreements are difficult to measure but that is no reason for ignoring them. Trade policy today is mostly NOT about tariffs. The vast bulk of the modern world’s wealth is generated by trade in services, not goods.

TradeWorks challenges the Council to produce evidence to illustrate that TPP would be a negative for the New Zealand economy.

The statements in the Sustainability Council report, as they stand about the potential costs, have no empirical basis. So claims that net gains seem “doubtful” appear to based on opinion rather than analysis.


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