Labour-led Government strongly defends controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership deal

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1 NEWS | NZN

The Labour-led Government is strongly defending its decision to commit to the controversial Trans-Pacific free trade deal.

PM Jacinda Ardern says the new TPP deal cut at this week's APEC summit has new safeguards to protect NZ trade.
Source: 1 NEWS

In opposition, Labour actually opposed an older version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the new version of the deal that's been cut at the APEC summit this weekend has new safeguards to protect New Zealand.

Critics of the TPP say these changes are simply window dressing. 

Having now left the APEC summit, a colourful welcome awaited Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern when she touched down in the Philippines for this week's East Asia Summit.

A marching band, guard of honour and a line of dancers hundreds of metres long lined the air base where the New Zealand delegation arrived on Sunday afternoon (local time).

Ms Ardern is joined by Foreign Minister Winston Peters again on this leg of the trip, having come from the APEC Summit in Vietnam.

Many of the same leaders she met there will be attending, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japan's Shinzo Abe, who both landed moments after Ms Ardern.

She's expected to hold formal bilateral talks with Mr Trudeau on Monday morning after a summit opening address by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership will no doubt be on their agenda after Mr Trudeau failed to attend a meeting at APEC where the remaining 10 partner nation leaders had been expecting to sign off on a final agreement.

Instead they've now agreed in principle on the main aspects of the pact and suspended four areas to give countries time to renegotiate areas of contention.

Ms Ardern is also expected to hold formal talks with Mr Duterte, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the head of the European Union President Donald Tusk.

With the TPP on hold indefinitely New Zealand will be looking to quickly progress its trade talks with the EU, making talks with Mr Tusk a priority.

The EU indicated earlier this year in talks with then prime minister Bill English that it too wanted to make speedy progress.

Ms Ardern is also looking to hold further, urgent talks with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after she called that country's response to the unfolding Manus Island refugee crisis unacceptable.

She has again raised New Zealand's offer to take 150 refugees and asylum seekers from Australia's offshore detention centres and has requested more substantive talks with Mr Turnbull this week than what time allowed for when she travelled to Sydney last Sunday.

Her visit to the Philippines will start on a lighter note - a gala dinner celebrating ASEAN's 50th anniversary.

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