Progressive and inclusive Trade for All Agenda launched

The Government will ask New Zealanders what is essential to them in future trade talks.

Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker said the move builds on the Coalition Government’s approach to negotiating the recently-signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“We want to provide the opportunity for New Zealanders to express their views as we develop our Trade for All agenda,” says Mr Parker.

“Our objective is for trade to benefit everyone.”

Cabinet has agreed on some key principles for our trade policy agenda, including opposition to Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses.

“New Zealand is a trading nation – and we always will be. Trade is a critical part of our economy, with some 620,000 New Zealand jobs depending on exports,” Mr Parker says.

“In the current global environment, with a rise in protectionism and fears of trade wars, fair international trade rules are more important than ever, for ensuring that our trading partners treat us fairly.

“At the same time, we know that many people have concerns about how trade deals are negotiated – and what they mean in practice.

“We share some concerns about the excesses of global capital but it is important not to blame trade for other matters, whether it be the impact of technological disruption or tax avoidance by multi-nationals.

“Some of those can’t be addressed through trade, but require other Government policy responses,” Mr Parker says.

“We want to hear Kiwis’ views on how trade policy can contribute to sustainable, progressive and inclusive economic development for the benefit of all of us.”

Feedback is already being sought on how progressive trade issues can be advanced in the Pacific Alliance negotiations with Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

New Zealand, Chile and Canada in March agreed to work through trade policies to boost sustainable development by addressing climate change, gender equality, indigenous rights and minimum work standards.

Consultations on the progressive Trade for All agenda will start in the coming months.

The Cabinet paper is available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website at: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/trade/nz-trade-policy/trade-for-all-agenda