By NZ Newswire

Labour has finally come off the fence and said it opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Until now the party has been ambivalent, complaining about some of the provisions in the 12-nation free trade agreement without objecting to it as a whole.

That has changed, and Labour leader Andrew Little says if he wins next year’s election his government will renegotiate it.

“I don’t support it, we don’t support it,” he told One News on Wednesday.

“Difficult as it is for us as a party that has for 80 years supported, championed and advance the cause of free trade, we see it as an agreement that cuts right across the rights of New Zealand citizens.”

Mr Little, and other opponents, believe the TPP gives foreign companies the power to stop governments passing laws in New Zealand’s interests.

Asked what would happen if Labour leads the next government, Mr Little said he would go to other political parties and say the TPP isn’t good enough and Labour wants to renegotiate it.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says he should be cautious about that.

“I think he needs to be very careful about the signals they are sending,” he said.

The TPP is due to be formally signed by trade ministers from the 12 TPP countries at a ceremony in Auckland next week.

The government on Tuesday released a detailed national interest analysis which confirmed earlier estimated that the agreement will add $2.7 billion to the New Zealand economy each year from 2030.

Prime Minister John Key says it’s inconceivable for New Zealand not to be part of it.

 

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