Earlier in 2017, the United States pulled out from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), after New Zealand passed legislation ratifying the TPP agreement. Labour voted against the legislation to enable the previous version, due to our concerns on the infringement on New Zealand’s sovereignty. Following that withdrawal, the then National-led Government and 10 other participating countries decided to revive the Agreement and entered negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP 11).
Unlike the previous National Government, this Labour-led Government is committed to addressing concerns surrounding New Zealand’s sovereignty within the TPP11.
This includes banning foreign speculators from purchasing existing homes in New Zealand, to decrease demand in the housing market and help families get in the door of their first home. We will put New Zealand families ahead of foreign speculators. We intend to pass legislation to ban non-resident foreign speculators from buying existing homes in New Zealand before the TPP 11 is concluded, as to not affect the negotiations.
The ban on foreign speculators will not impact our existing Free Trade Agreements, except for our agreement with Singapore, which is up for renegotiation soon. The previous Government claimed this could not be done without breaching other agreements, however official advice has shown this is not true.
TPP 11 negotiations entered into by the previous National-led Government have already significantly progressed. With the issue of foreign speculators purchasing existing homes covered off, the Labour-led Government is focussing on Investor State Disputes and Settlements (ISDS) to negotiate for the best interests of New Zealand.
Labour has serious concerns about ISDS clauses. We have reversed the mandate for our negotiators. They are now doing as much as they can to try to remove New Zealand from those clauses. We have also told negotiators to make sure that no further free trade agreements include ISDS clauses.
Labour has always been a party that supports free trade with other countries to grow our export-led economy – however we are committed to getting the best deal for New Zealand that balances our sovereignty and values with economic growth.