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Trans-Pacific Partnership: parliamentary steps to ratification

International trade Treaties Parliament

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement was signed in Auckland in February 2016 by twelve Pacific-rim countries, including New Zealand. To enter into force, the TPP must have been ratified by all twelve signatories by February 2018, or be ratified by at least six of the signatories whose combined gross domestic product (GDP) meets the threshold set by the agreement. In January 2017 the United States withdrew from the TPP. Without its participation the conditions set for the TPP to enter into force cannot be met.

In May 2017 ministers from the other eleven signatory countries reaffirmed the strategic and economic significance of the TPP and agreed to assess options for bringing it into force. The ministers will meet again in November 2017 in Viet Nam.

Two of the signatories, New Zealand and Japan, have already ratified the agreement after completing their required domestic procedures and notifying New Zealand, as the depository, that they have done so. The other nine signatories are at various stages of their domestic pre-ratification procedures.

This paper sets out the framework for parliamentary involvement in the process leading up to the ratification of an international multilateral trade treaty in each of the eleven remaining TPP signatory countries and, as far as can be ascertained, parliament’s involvement in the ratification process for the TPP.

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