Written By: - Date published: 11:02 am, March 13th, 2014 - 3 comments
Categories: activism, class war, democratic participation, privatisation, quality of life, Spying, trade, us politics - Tags: intellectual property, TPPA
International, cronyist, corporate capitalism skews democratic processes in NZ, making it harder for the majority of battling Kiwis to get a fair go – harder to ensure all New Zealanders live in a society that works for them. And in such a society, it’s hardest for those on the lowest incomes to, not only survive, but to have a reasonable quality of life.
That is why I am totally against the TPPA, and will be marching on the 29th of March: Its Our Future website lists the protests around NZ on 29th March.
Like the whole NSA-led invasive surveillance state, the US is dominating the TPPA negotiations, making NZ a client state to the US.
As Jane Kelsey has shown, again, and again, the TPP is a power-play between the US government and other powerful countries like Japan. There is little in it for New Zealand. In her press release last month, Kelsey spelled out the latest state of play. Basically, there’s very little in the TPP for NZ (in spite of what Phil Goff keeps claiming). Currently negotiations are being dominated by a contest between the US and Japanese governments:
‘New Zealand and the other nine countries are bystanders as the elephants in the room battle it out.’
The US is demanding major concessions from Japan on its ‘five sacred products’ of rice, beef and pork, sugar, wheat and dairy, as well as automobiles, but is unwilling to make concessions itself. However, the US is equally unwilling to open its automobile market to Japan’s light trucks.
Even if the US and Japan do make a deal that suits themselves, there is no guarantee it would be extended to the others and may be of limited use if it was. Both countries have been insisting that market access negotiations are bilateral.
‘New Zealand would have very little leverage in bilateral negotiations with the US or Japan’, Kelsey observed. ‘The chances of getting anything significant out of this deal seem incredibly slim’.
Kelsey also touches on key issues for NZ:
The second, related roadblock is that governments cannot make decisions on a number of outstanding policy and regulatory issues. Some are genuine red lines that governments won’t cross. Others are being held back for trade-offs. But in a number of chapters, such as investment, State-owned enterprises, intellectual property and environment, negotiators are still working through substantive issues.
‘What happens next is anyone’s guess’, Kelsey said. ‘If Japan and the US do a deal the dominoes could fall quite quickly as governments make compromises on other major issues. But New Zealand will still be a bit player in a game driven by the major powers’.
The issue of “intellectual property” is where the TPPA meets the NSA’s agenda to dominate the 5 Eyes’ network of which NZ’s spy agency (the GCSB) is part. A lot of the invasive digital and online surveillance conducted by the 5 eyes’ network is dominated by the US’s protection of Hollywood and related online corporate enterises.
March 29th – if you are available, find the protest nearest you.