Source:1 NEWS and NZN
New Zealand has formally signed the controversial Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in Santiago, Chile this morning.
The 11-nation deal covers 13.5 per cent of world GDP, and will eliminate 98 per cent of tariffs in a marketplace worth close to $14 trillion.
"This is a fair deal for New Zealand," says trade minister David Parker. "It gives our exporters new opportunities in key markets like Japan, it preserves the unique status of the Treaty of Waitangi, and it protects the Government’s right to regulate in the public interest."
Despite withdrawing the US from the free trade pact, President Donald Trump is set to steal some of the spotlight, however.
The deal had been on life support after the United States' withdrawal but was resuscitated in January.
Mr Trump is expected to sign a presidential proclamation setting up 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imports today, with the measures taking effect two weeks later.
New Zealand is among the countries hoping to secure an exemption and the White House opened up the prospect of some wiggle room yesterday.
The TPP deal covers Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
It will come into force once it's been ratified by six countries.