The Trans Pacific Partnership, a historic trade deal among 12 nations that account for around 36 per cent of the global economy, will be signed in Auckland on February 4.
As AAP reports, the decision to hold the signing ceremony in New Zealand followed Prime Minister John Key’s offer to do so. He made the offer at the APEC summit in the Philippines in November.
"Following signature, all 12 countries will be able to begin their respective domestic ratification processes and will have up to two years to complete that before the agreement enters into force," New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay commented.
As the AFR reports, the TPP has faced significant opposition in Australia and elsewhere. Australian critics can point to World Bank figures which claim that Australia’s economy will grow by less than 1 per cent as a result of the deal.
Given that the United States is now in election year, the chances it will pass through Congress are problematic. In addition, leading Presidential candidates, such as Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton oppose the agreement.
The TPP was finalised in October after five years of negotiations. It includes Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.