The next round of secretive TPP negotiations is in Auckland next week, 3-12 December. There will be a National Day of Action on Saturday 8 December. It looks like it will be part of a world wide protest march. There are important issues involving NZ’s ability to make and enforce it’s own laws, and John Key will be in theRE smiling and waving and selling us out.
With the TPP the US government and powerful corporates trying to extend their power into the Pacific region. There is likely to be increasing tensions between the US-led TPP and the Asean CREP trade negotiations.
There’s a lot of information coming out now. There promises to be ongoing debates and reports on the meaning and possible content of the TPP throughout the coming week. The latest edition of Werewolf focuses on the issues. Gordon Campbell explains:
Essentially, the TPP’s real value to the US appears to be as a forum for setting in place a number of non-trade practices – in government procurement, in patenting and copyright, in investor-state dispute arbitration etc – that would be of prime benefit to its own commercial lobbies. In that sense, the TPP is about securing and advancing the commercial interests of multinationals and their lobbyists – which have not been seen beforehand to be suitable subject matter for the trade obligations between nations. (Trying to get the WTO to sign onto these same kind of “Singapore provisions” created havoc a few years ago at the WTO’s Cancun meeting.)
Longer term, as US President Barack Obama made clear during the recent presidential debates, the TPP is of some use to the US in strategic terms to counter the rising power of China in the Asia Pacific region. Eventually, it may serve as a platform for a genuine Asia/Pacific deal that includes China, on terms the Americans can only hope will be satisfactory to them. Yet at present, neither China nor India would tolerate many of the current ingredients of the TPP.
Gordon Campbell has responded to Fran O’Sullivan, who criticised Jane Kelsey’s ongoing campaign against the TPP.
The best way of appreciating Fran O’Sullivan’s attack on Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey in the NZ Herald yesterday is to read it aloud as if you’re actually Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey. In which case the general content of O’Sullivan’s column – does this creature never sleep? How on earth has she managed to commandeer the debate on free trade? Are there no men in this house able to put this, this, this confounded woman in her place? – will sound exactly what it is. A last despairing squawk from the neo-liberal right, as yet another of its castles in the sand is washed away by the tide of history. Get used to it, Fran. It’s your lot that has lost the plot on “free” trade.
Jane Kelsey and US anti-free trader, Lori Wallach are on the latest Citizen A. It all sounds pretty scary. It won’t matter what NZ policies are on climate or privatisation – once NActs have done the deals, they’ll be most likely locked in by TPP. According to Wallach and Kelsey, US corporates will sue for lots of money against any local laws that get in the way of their profiteering. Apparently there’s already vulture, ambulance-chaser lawyers touting their services to corporates, at the sniff of any such possible litigation.
Kelsey said that innovative NZ IT businesses are particularly worried about TPP measures that would hinder their work.
I imagine the next week and a half will be very educational.
Update: protest events 3-8 Dec
Monday 3 Dec: Auckland, TPP meeting starts 7.30am Sky City Convention
Centre, Auckland. Protest starts at the SC Convention Centre 8.30am
Tuesday 4 Dec: Wellington, Aotearoa Is Not For Sale, Rally against TPP
12 noon, Midland Park, Lambton Quay
The `NZ vs Trans-national Corporations’ live boxing match
MusicShow your opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)
Wednesday 5 Dec: 5.00pm Auckland
It’s our future Awareness Raising Concert St Kevin’s Arcade, Karangahape Rd, AucklandThis is no longer showing on the It’s Our Future Calendar.
Friday 7 Dec: 6.00pm Auckland, Britomart
Aotearoa is Not For Sale: D7 - The Big Push
take to the streets again to oppose the plans to privatise State Assets, and celebrate that over 300,000 people have signed the petition for a referendum. With a last Big Push, its time to force a democratic vote to reject these failed policies once and for all.
Endorsed so far by- the Labour Party, the Mana Movement, the Council of Trade Unions and Socialist Aotearoa. Keep those endorsements rolling in
Saturday 8 Dec: Nelson 12 Noon: March Millers Acre to the 1903 site.
Auckland 2.00pm Aotea Square
It’s Our future Rally and presentation of Avaaz petition at negotiations,