Ardern cautiously optimistic CPTPP trade deal will go ahead as March signing looms

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern remains cautiously optimistic the CPTPP trade deal will be ratified with an agreement reached yesterday for the deal to be signed on March 8.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Speaking at Ratana today Ms Ardern said: "The signing in Chile at the beginning of March is likely to go ahead".

"We wouldn’t want to get ahead of ourselves with where the agreement sits now, but certainly this is another step towards the finalisation." 

She said one of the stumbling blocks for of the deal included Canada's temporarily removing itself from the agreement due to "seeking support for their cultural exception". 

After another round of talks, the pact is set to be signed in Chile in March. Source: 1 NEWS

"New Zealand has a cultural exception, that's something we've long fought for in our trade agreements."

The exception enables trade agreements to differentiate culture from commercial products. 

New Zealand offered support for Canada's cultural exception "and to offer any assistance we could". 

Ms Ardern says Canada are now satisfied with how the agreement now stands. 

The PM says after “bumps” including a US withdrawal and Canada’s temporarily walking away, the trade deal will go ahead. Source: 1 NEWS