17 Jun 2015

Fast-track TTP or lose another deal - Groser

3:23 pm on 17 June 2015

Trade Negotiations Minister Tim Groser says if the United States does not quickly pass "fast-track" authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, America can also kiss goodbye to a big trade deal with Europe.

National MP Tim Groser

Tim Groser says the TPP could stall until 2018. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Mr Groser said he expects that, unless Congress gets its act together in the next few weeks, the TPP will stall until 2018 at the earliest.

"If they do not provide the package of measures that are being debated in the US congress now, not only will TPP not go ahead but you can also kiss goodbye to TTIP, the similar mega-regional deal across the Atlantic."

He told the BBC that people will not negotiate with the US if they believe legislators - in this case Congress - will not politically back negotiators at the end of the day.

"The rest of us will move on to other opportunities but the evidence in favour of the US gaining from trade is literally overwhelming. How on earth their elected representatives can still be debating whether trade is bad for the US economy, to me, is simply astonishing," he said.

The TPP deal would ease trade restrictions among the US and 11 Pacific Rim countries, but has caused controversy as critics believe the deal could create issues for New Zealand, including changing the way Pharmac buys medicines.

  • US Republicans keen to fast track negotiations of trade deals
  • Doctors group welcomes TPP delay
  • TPP 'could be on ice for two years'
  • Pharmac under threat from TPP - Wikileaks