New Zealand publishes TPP trade deal text online
The New Zealand authorities say the agreement will continue to undergo legal review.
The TPP, headed by the US and including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, has been widely criticized for being surrounded with secrecy and reached behind closed doors.
Australia’s Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb welcomed the publication of the agreement and added the bloc members had agreed to release details as soon as possible.
“Today’s release honors that commitment and provides the Australian public with an opportunity to examine the text and more fully understand any areas of the negotiation that are of interest to them,” he said.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement covers 40 percent of the world’s economy. Negotiations lasted five years. US President Barack Obama said one of the main targets of the accord was to oust Chinese dominance in the region.
“When more than 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy. We should write those rules, opening new markets to American products while setting high standards for protecting workers and preserving our environment,” he said in October.
The deal must now be ratified by the member countries. The US Congress remains skeptical about the TPP, which was a long-term goal of the Obama administration.