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16/4/2018 — General
NZ cool on Trump’s TPP review

Both New Zealand and Australia have responded cautiously to the weekend news that American President Donald Trump may reconsider the new Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), known as the CPTPP.

Skynews and other groups indicated Trump would reconsider the TPP providing the terms were better than the one he withdrew the US from on becoming President.

NZ Trade Minister David Parker told Radio New Zealand the proposal was not something this country would ignore.

"The United States is the largest economy in the world and it's one of the two super powers beside China so its comments are of interest to us."

But he questioned how "real the engagement" was, given similar comments from President Trump in Davos.

“The American system's very complex and the administration has many parts and not all parts of them have the same view so we're not sure where this ends.”

Several countries, including the United Kingdom and South Korea, have indicated preliminary interest in signing up to the agreement, Parker said.

“And now the US - if and when any of that becomes more real - the countries have to consider how they would deal with that in the context of the new CPTPP.”

Former Trade Minister Todd McClay of the National Party said NZ should warmly welcome renewed US interest in the revised TPP - but cautioned striking a deal would be very difficult.

In Australia, there were comments by business commentators who said Trump may be reconsidering the TPP on the basis that the trade war he has now generated with China is causing some stress in the home market.

From Australia’s point of view China is critical to the resources sector and agriculture in the Australian economy and business leaders including mining billionaire Andrew (Twiggy) Forrest has warned business and politicians against upsetting China.

Sources: radionz.co.nz; skynews.com.au; theaustralian.com.au

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Trade Minister David Parker. Photo: Richard Tindiller, Radio NZ.