16 Nov 2020

Government signs major Asia-Pacific trade deal R-CEP

From Morning Report, 7:39 am on 16 November 2020

After eight years and thirty rounds of negotiations, the government has put pen to paper on what has been called the world's largest free-trade agreement.

New Zealand is one of 15 Asia-Pacific countries to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade deal - better known as R-CEP.

The countries involved are responsible for nearly a third of the world's economic output but critics say the deal offers little for New Zealand, and is a negative for the country's national interests because of Covid-19's impact.

India pulled out of the deal, something trade analysts say is disappointing for all the participating nations.

Damien O'Connor is the freshly appointed Minister for Trade and Export Growth.

He speaks to Corin Dann.