CPTPP meeting agrees guidelines to expand trade agreement

The first Commission meeting of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has reached agreement on guidelines to expand the trade agreement.

Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the agreement on accession procedures - one of the decisions made by the 11 signatories at the first Commission meeting held in Tokyo today.

“New Zealand has always supported the concept of CPTPP as an open accession agreement, having been part of the original P4 agreement alongside Brunei, Chile, and Singapore.

“It was very pleasing to see CPTPP come to fruition with its entry-into-force at the end of December. I welcome the idea that those willing to meet CPTPP’s high standards and objectives are now able to join the Agreement over time,” David Parker said.

“I do not expect formal applications in the near future, but we look forward to continuing discussions with interested economies on the basis of these guidelines.

“In the meantime, I look forward to seeing the remaining signatories complete their domestic processes and join the seven who have ratified the Agreement to date.”

The Commission also confirmed the future chairing arrangements for the group.

“As Depositary for the Agreement, New Zealand will host the next set of CPTPP meetings later this year. This will be an opportunity to build on our collective commitment to ensure full and effective implementation of the Agreement and to promote its expansion over time.

“The date has not yet been set, but we expect it will be in the second half of this year to allow time for all signatories to complete their domestic ratification processes,” David Parker said.

“From 2020 the chair of the CPTPP will rotate based on the order in which members ratified, starting with Mexico followed by Japan and then Singapore. New Zealand will host again in 2023.”