New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took a break from the East Asia Summit in Manila, the Philippines, on November 14 to update Kiwis on the newly revived Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
Ardern said the “topical” TPP deal, which had been the subject of past protests, represented “significant victories for New Zealand.”
The new deal, she said, protects Pharmac, the New Zealand government agency that subsidises medicines and pharmaceutical products for communities and public hospitals; allows New Zealand to regulate its housing market; protects the Treaty of Waitangi between the British Crown and Maori tribes; and improves the way the government deals with ISDS, or investor-state dispute settlement, the process under which companies can sue countries for alleged discriminatory practices under free trade agreements.
“Of course we’re of the view that we don’t want ISDS used in agreements at all. But in the meantime, we came in late to this agreement, we gave it our all, and we made good solid changes, changes that will make a difference.”
The Green Party announced on November 13 that it wouldn’t support the agreement, meaning Ardern’s centre-left Labour government would have to rely on the centre-right National Party in opposition to pass it. Credit: Jacinda Ardern via Storyful