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Peru to seek NZ trade deal if TPP dies

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/07/2016

Peruvian presidential candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski gestures to followers in Lima, Peru, June 5, 2016.: Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is an economist who wants to revive Peru's economy © Reuters Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is an economist who wants to revive Peru's economy Peru will seek free trade deals with New Zealand and other Pacific Rim countries if the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement it signed on to dies in the US Congress, the incoming president says.

Centrist President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a 77-year-old former investment banker, said leaders of both political parties in the US have attacked the TPP to build support ahead of the November 8 election, and that the 12-member pact might be ratified by congress afterwards.

"When the electoral cycle is over let's see what happens," Kuczynski said in a press conference with foreign media on Tuesday, two days before his inauguration.

"If the TPP isn't approved, we'll seek agreements with the countries that we're lacking."

Kuczynski cited Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand as potential new partners for free-trade deals that would build on more than a dozen pacts Peru already has with countries including the US, China, Canada and Japan.

The US and Japan-led TPP aims to slash tariffs on goods in 40 per cent of the world's economy.

But US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has vowed to kill the TPP if elected and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton has said she opposes it because it is not strong enough on currency manipulation and other areas.

Kuczynski did not mention any parts of the TPP that he would want changed if it were renegotiated, but said he thinks Peru's top trade partner China should be a part of the agreement.

US President Barack Obama has pitched the TPP to sceptical lawmakers as a way to counter China's rising economic and political clout in the region.

"The objective of the TPP is to exclude China and I don't think that's right," Kuczynski said. "What we need are treaties that are much more inclusive."

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