The intrepid Andrea Tornielli has this on his blog (my translation and emphases):
Benedict XVI want "a different placement of the sign of peace during Mass". The Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship, Francis Card. Arinze, announced this in an interview with L’Osservatore Romano. The Nigerian Cardinal, on Sunday celebrates 50 years of priesthood and who is about to leave his dicastery, explained, "Often the full meaning of this gesture is not understood. People think it is a chance to shake their friend’s hands. Instead, it is a way of saying to someone near that the peace of Christ, truly present on the altar, is also with all men." "To create an more recollected atmosphere to prepare for Communion, it was thought," Arinze revealed, "to transfer the exchange of peace to the offertory. The Pope asked for a consultation with the whole episcopate. Then he will decide." The anticipated sign of peace is a characteristic of the Ambrosian Missal. In the interview Arinze spoke also of small liturgical changes already decided by the Pope inasmuch as they came out of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist celebrated in 2005. In particular, he said, "in addition to ‘Ite, missa est’, for example, the priest today has at his disposal other formulas, to help the faithful understand better that we are called to live what we have celebrated, in a more dynamic mode, more missionary. Benedict XVI, after a series of studies conducted by us, without abolishing ‘Ite, missa est’, approved three alternatives: Ite ad Evangelium Domini annuntiandum; Ite in pace glorificando vita vestra Dominum; Ite in pace".
With due respect, while I understand the biblical foundation for shifting the sign of peace before you bring your gifts to the altar (cf. Matthew 5:23-24), the sign of peace has been where it is in the Roman Rite for a very long time.
It must also be noted that the invitation for the sign of peace in the Novus Ordo is optional. It doesn’t have to be done most of the time. It is not of absolute value. This move seems to make it something it has never been.
Also, is this not merely an artificial imposition of a change on the structure of Mass?
Actually… that was a rhetorical question.
This is an artificial change, not an organic.
Sure, the sign of peace is in a different place in the Ambrosian Missal.
This is the Roman Rite we are talking about.
The upshot of this is that the older, traditional form of the Roman Rite, the TLM, now would seem to be even more, if this goes through, the exemplar of stability.