Adopting the TPP would mean some limits on how New Zealanders use and benefit from the Internet. Throughout the TPP process, we have worked to understand those limits and advocated hard for an open, informed, and transparent process. We have also advocated for moves to respect and protect the value of the open Internet to New Zealand.
New Zealand's main concessions under the TPP would involve changing our local laws on intellectual property. These changes, particularly changes to copyright, would mean that New Zealanders pay more on average to access information for entertainment, education, and business. More importantly, the same changes would mean New Zealanders miss out on opportunities to learn, communicate, and innovate using the Internet and other technologies.
As we said during the TPP's Select Committee consideration, we do not want New Zealanders to miss out on the innovative potential of the Internet. As a bottom-line, we must at least avoid the worst-case scenario where New Zealanders bear the costs of the TPP without receiving any corresponding benefits from other member nations.
On 8 November 2016, Donald Trump won election as the next President of the United States. Trump had campaigned as being strongly against the TPP. Despite this development, and on the same day, New Zealand's Parliament passed local law to implement intellectual property changes and other requirements under TPP.
Fortunately, our worst-case concern has been addressed. The way the local implementing law is set up - changes to current New Zealand laws will only take effect if the TPP is adopted by enough other member nations. We remain concerned that the substance of our implementing law, if brought into force, would limit the permissionless sharing and innovation which underlies the value of the Internet, both socially and economically.
We are continuing our work to help policy makers and the public better understand the innovative potential of the Internet.
To read more:
- An expert paper on the TPP: Information Technology and Intellectual Property, edited by our Issues Advisor James Ting-Edwards
- Our submission to the Select Committee on the local Trans-Pacific Partnership Amendment Bill
- Our detailed submission on New Zealand's proposed "digital lock" measures under the TPP