30 Jul 2015

'They just want to derail the agreement'

4:35 pm on 30 July 2015

Associate Trade Minister Todd McClay says the people who want to see the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating text just want it so they can derail the deal.

TPPA rally in Wellington

A protest against the TPP in Wellington in early 2015. Photo: RNZ / Michael Cropp

Ministers from the 12 countries involved in the talks are meeting in Hawaii this week for what is hoped to be the final round of negotiations on the deal.

Todd McClay.

Associate Trade Minister Todd McClay Photo: NATIONAL PARTY

Trade Minister Tim Groser is at the Hawaii talks so Mr McClay was answering questions on his behalf in Parliament this afternoon.

Green Party MP Russel Norman asked him whether documents about New Zealand's position on specific matters in the TPP negotiations had been given to other partners in the talks. "And, if so, have those documents been made available to New Zealanders?"

Mr McClay replied that, as part of the negotiations, those involved have to share the documents with others involved to make sure they can all get the best outcome for New Zealand.

He said all TPP members have agreed to keep negotiating texts confidential.

Mr McClay said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade had been open about the issues under negotiation and had consulted widely.

Dr Norman asked how the Government's negotiating position could be undermined by telling the people of New Zealand what was in documents that had already been shared with other negotiating partners.

Mr McClay told the House that the Government valued the views of New Zealanders, which was why it had held two rounds of consultation.

"The people who want us to make public the documents actually don't want to see the text, they just want to derail the agreement - an agreement if concluded will deliver benefit to the New Zealand economy."

The TPP meeting in Hawaii is expected to wrap up on late Saturday afternoon (NZT).

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