INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tim Groser - secrecy is a part of all trade negotiations

Published: Sun 9 Nov 2014 01:51 PM
Q+A: Trade Minister Tim Groser - secrecy is a part of all trade negotiations
Trade Minister Tim Groser told TVOne’s Q+A programme that secrecy is a part of all trade negotiations and New Zealanders can trust the Government to get a good deal for them.
He was commenting on the progress of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which he said could be finalised in the first six months of 2015:
“On issues that are quite legitimate concern to New Zealanders, like you know does TPP mean we're going to have to pay more for our subsidised drugs? I mean that’s a completely legitimate concern to New Zealand, and I've made a variety of statements on that matter. But when we're able to look at the final deal I'm extremely confident that the government will be able to convey to New Zealanders that there is no cause for concern whatsoever here and the deal there provides all the protection New Zealanders would expect a responsible New Zealand government to do for them. But until that is there you know there's all these leaked earlier proposals, some of which are ridiculously extreme proposals. We've made a lot of progress there, but let's have the debate when we're looking at something that’s real, not some version of reality.”
“You can't have it both ways. If you want to be in the tent you respect that confidentiality and New Zealand will certainly be doing that. This is really only a transitional problem. At the end of the day if there is a deal, if there is a deal, all of this, all the fine detail will be out in the political debate and people can then look at a balanced view, not on the basis of assumptions on what things might be, but on the basis of the deal that is there. It's always been like that in trade negotiations, and I'm increasingly confident of the direction of travel on some of these sensitive issues. “
Mr Groser said the mid-term elections in the United States could prove positive for the deal:
“What has happened in this election is the Republicans have their position strengthened at the upper end of Republican expectations. They’ve now got control of both Houses, Congress and the Senate, and it will be very interesting to see how this plays out. What is already clear from public comments, let alone any more considered private conversations which I and Mr McCully and the Prime Minister will obviously hope to have in the next few days, is that trade has been identified immediately as something that could provide the basis of some bipartisan movement forward. Now I'll wait and see, but that certainly sounds promising from a New Zealand perspective.”
Mr Groser said he hasn’t given up on a FTA with Russia, after a deal had to be abandoned due to political events earlier this year:
“The situation in Eastern Ukraine clearly is very very fragile . We would need to feel that the momentum was turned back in a more positive direction. This is the most disturbing thing to happen to security on the European continent for decades, and right now even though I'm, you know, the Trade Minister, I'm actually looking at this through a political lens not a commercial lens. But I'm hoping we will see some signs of rapprochement between the major western powers and Russia and we will have enough political space then to resume what has always been a very long term but very interesting commercial and strategic play by New Zealand.”
Q+A, 9-10am Sundays on TV ONE and one hour later on TV ONE plus 1. Repeated Sunday evening at 11:35pm. Streamed live at www.tvnz.co.nz
Thanks to the support from NZ On Air.
Q+A is on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/NZQandA#!/NZQandA and on Twitter, http://twitter.com/#!/NZQandA
ends

Next in New Zealand politics

More measures to help those facing homelessness
By: New Zealand Government
Strategy launched to break the cycle of Māori reoffending
By: New Zealand Government
The Pacific will no longer stand for Australia's inaction
By: The Conversation
Resolution for Canterbury owners of on-sold homes
By: New Zealand Government
First urban growth partnership signed
By: New Zealand Government
Secondary principals to vote on industrial action
By: Post Primary Teachers' Association
Update: Serious incident, Gore
By: New Zealand Police
Help to stay in tenancies a 'critical' step on homelessness
By: RNZ
Government support for homeless a welcome step
By: Public Service Association
New homelessness measures a positive step forward
By: Housing First Auckland
Hutt Housing: The Facts
By: Chris Bishop
Providing relief for homeless in Hutt region
By: Wellington City Mission
New Corrections plan for Māori “repeat of failed policies"
By: People Against Prisons Aotearoa
Australian PM's attitude 'neo-colonial' says Tuvalu
By: RNZ
Condescension and Climate Change
By: Binoy Kampmark
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media