11 Dec 2010

Ways to make trade talks more open mooted

9:54 am on 11 December 2010

New Zealand's chief negotiator in the Trans-Pacific Partnership is looking at ways to make trade talks more open to the public.

The latest round of the nine-country talks was held in private in Auckland this week.

The talks ended on Friday with trade unions and civil society groups again calling for the text of the deal agreed so far to be released to the public.

Chief negotiator Mark Sinclair admits being surprised at the level of interest and says he will look at ways to shed more light on what is being discussed.

But he said, it is unlikely that the text of the agreement - which covers areas as diverse as customs and banking regulation - will be issued before a deal is finalised.

However, TPP critic Jane Kelsey of Auckland says most of the text of the deal has been agreed in areas such as financial services and investment, and should be released.

The nine nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership are: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.