web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

TPP protests – Day 1

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, December 3rd, 2012 - 8 comments
Categories: activism, assets, class war, Economy, International, jobs, Privatisation, sustainability, telecommunications, trade, us politics, workers' rights - Tags:

Today a small group of protesters have been outside the entrance to Sky City Convention Centre, where a round of secret international TPP negotiations started to day. The big concerns about the TPP are the secrecy with which it is being developed, the potential to undermine NZ’s independence, the ability to make and enforce our won laws, and the amount of control being given over to powerful (US-based) multinational corporations.

On today’s protests, Stuff reports:

Around 20 placard-carrying protesters are outside the centre with police watching on.

A protest march through the city is scheduled for later today.

It’s a pity the march through the city wasn’t publicised more widely in advance.  (I have a prior unbreakable commitment this afternoon).

Others try to put the case for TPP.  The above Stuff article reports on the government’s (unconvincing) reassurances that they won’t negotiate anything that is not in NZ’s interest.

Two of the contentious areas are intellectual property and pharmaceuticals. Commentators have expressed concerns that New Zealand might have to sacrifice freedoms such as the right to parallel import trademarked goods, and make concessions over Pharmac’s bulk purchases of drugs and medical supplies.

But it is understood New Zealand does not expect to go into bat alone on these and other controversial aspects of the discussions.

Amongst the very unconvinced are Jane Kelsey, who writes:

However, the TPP is not simply, or even principally, about trade. There is a well-documented push from the US to secure extensive new rules that will serve the interests of their corporations and empower them to enforce those rules.

But it is increasingly clear that US politicians see the TPP as a vehicle to re-establish America’s ascendancy in the Asia-Pacific region to counter China’s emergence as a superpower.

Kelsey states that Key is seeking to talk down possibilities of NZ being caught between the TPP and the China-driven RCEP trade negotiations.  Kelsey concludes:

Whether or not you think that is desirable, it ignores both geopolitical realities and the divergent paradigms on which China and the US operate.

A serious risk is that governments participating in the TPP will sign up for strategic reasons to a text designed by and for the US to serve its commercial and foreign-policy interests. As a result, New Zealand and Australia, alongside Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam, who are members of Asean, will become caught up in a new Cold War, conducted through the proxy vehicle of economic integration agreements.

Large numbers of Kiwis are also unhappy with the secrecy of the TPP. This makes it impossible for ordinary people to judge how good it will be for the country. A Consumerlink, mid-November poll shows,

65% of New Zealanders think the Government should make the contents of the agreement public before the negotiations are completed and the agreement is signed, 14% do not mind if this does not happen, and 21% have no opinion.

[h/t: Draco T Dastard]

Today Canada will be joining the negotiations for the first time. Canadian consultant Peter Clark is arriving to attend tomorrow, and is underwhelmed by what has been achieved so far, and what may be achieved in the future.

The TPP negotiations are based on a shaky foundation. Congress has not granted Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the TPP.19 Without TPA, trade agreement negotiations are fraught with risk and uncertainty. It is folly.

Without TPA, the TPP negotiations are a crapshoot for other countries. Without TPA, all Trans-Pacific partners are exposed to the virtual certainty of having to re-negotiate with Congress a hard fought, done deal.

The TPP is nowhere near finished. On several important issues, it appears to be stuck in neutral. It will, like all other free trade negotiations, be about hard fought exclusions. In Asia, there are alternatives to the TPP for ASEAN members. The RCEP will be much more user friendly and flexible. This will feed dissent and objections to U.S. demands.

More information about the protests this week on the GPJA  blog, including [edited to save space – check blog for full version]:

3 Dec Auckland: Street theatre and rally at opening of negotiation round, 8.00 am, Entrance to Skycity casino, Federal St….

Public meeting hosted by the Fabian Society. Speakers: Lori Wallach (from US watchdog Public Citizen) and Jane Kelsey. 6.30 pm, Old Government House lecture theatre, University of Auckland, Auckland

4 Dec Wellington midday. 12noon, Midland Park, Lambton Quay.

1-8 Dec Auckland. ‘Having fun with TPP’ Cartoon exhibition, BizDojo.Co.Space, Karangahape Road, Auckland….

NB a mobile billboard featuring one of the winning cartoons and advertising the Dec 8 rally will be driving around Auckland from 4-12 December. … Details tba, contact Stephen Parry 021 039 0284.

7 December Auckland. [Related, but not  a TTPA event:]… Aotearoa Is Not For Sale: The Big Push. March against Asset Sales, meeting 6pm at Britomart. …

8 Dec Auckland: Major rally and presentation of Avaaz petition on TPP …, meeting at Aotea Square at 2pm, marching to entrance of Skycity casino, Federal St. ..

TPPA? No way! Awareness raising concert at St Kevin’s arcade, 6-9pm.

10 Dec Auckland “Trading away our future: TPPA and the Environment”, … Refreshments provided. 5.30 at Green Party offices, 17 Mercury Lane, Newton. http://www.facebook.com/events/562836617066132/

8 comments on “TPP protests – Day 1”

  1. Wayne 1

    Karol,

    The fact that President Obama made TPP such a priority at EAS shows the level of effort the US is putting into it. Clearly the US will have to accommodate other nations concerns, but obviously everyone has to get something out of the negotiations that they can value, or else the deal won’t succeed.

    I think the US has put too much into TPP to see it fail. Congress would think very carefully about rejecting a sucessfully concluded TPP. The Republicans in the lower House support free trade. The Democrats in the Senate support their President.

    NZ as the depository of TPP and as host of these talks also has a lot vested in their success. And that would apply for both National and Labour. A NZ Govt that rejected a deal for which they were depository would destroy our credibility among the Asia Pacific for many years to come. We simply would not be trusted.

    The ASEAN nations with their parallel project of RCEP also do not want to see China excluded. But most of them are also in TPP. Same for NZ. So ASEAN sees that both deals need to succeed, to keep the balance between China and the US.

    Both China and the US are Asia Pacific nations; they aint going anywhere. And none of the other nations in the region are going to go out of their way to unnecessairly antagonise them. In fact the ASEAN nations see themselves as the bridge. They have many initiatives designed to bring China and the US into regional dialogue. EAS, ARF and ADMM+ are just three.

    Logically when both TPP and RCEP are complete, they are likely to merge as the much vaunted APEC free trade pact. But TPP is at least 3 to 5 years ahead of RCEP.

    So while the Left (but not Labour) might rail against TPP, I do not think Jane Kelsey et al will have much influence on Tim Groser and the Govt (or on David Shearer).

    • thatguynz 1.1

      Except for the minor problem that TPPA is a trade agreement second, not first.  I do of course agree that neither Groser and National nor Labour have any interest whatsoever in listening to any opposition to it.  And make no mistake, based on what has been leaked so far this is one of the biggest present threats to NZ.

    • lprent 1.2

      Problem is that from the little that is known about TPPA positions it looks like it could take a decade or more for any benefits to flow through from the US in the terms of opening of access for farm produce. And that assumes that the US legislature is cooperative, which hasn’t exactly been noticeable over the trade agreements in the last few decades.

      Whereas the likely lousy effects on our burgeoning export tech industry will probably be a whole lot faster, and enforced by unaccountable kangaroo courts with unfathomable appointment procedures and no appeal.

      So remind me – why exactly is this a “trade” treaty that we are engaged in, compared to something like a political treaty of economic conquest – which is more what it seems to resemble? So far there appears to be little or no trade rationale for NZ to be engaged in this in a world where we don’t appear to have much of a problem selling our wares, just a problem in getting further up the processing value chain.

      If I had to guess this looks more like a opportunity to open up more international boards for ex-politicians and diplomats to ease into retirement with. So far that seems to be the only likely benefit for actual exporting NZ businesses.

      BTW: I replied to your yesterday sideline comment on this – http://thestandard.org.nz/tpp-negotiations-auckland-next-week/comment-page-1/#comment-557747

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      Just because a lot of self-important twits have put a lot into it doesn’t mean that we should sign it. Especially considering that the only people who have had a say in it are actually the corporations and not the people.

  2. PlanetOrphan 2

    Great post Karol, we should ditch the TPP completely until we are sure of our needs when it comes to regulation of the local economy.

    We Just need to follow the USA’s example, protect the local economy otherwise all the money bleeds out into the wilderness.

  3. karol 3

    Jane Kelsey on the unprecedented lock-out of stakeholders from Sky City TPP negotiating venue today.  It basically means that those with criticisms of TPP don’t get any opportunity to interact with the international negotiators.

    “We turned up this morning and found we are locked out of the entire Sky City Convention Centre for all 10 days except the so-called stakeholder day on Friday,” according to Professor Jane Kelsey, who has attended six previous rounds.  …

    “It is patently obvious that our government is actively attempting to block us from having private interactions with negotiators who have their own concerns or want more information in areas they lack expertise, or are simply polite enough to respond to requests for meetings.”
     
    “The previous round held in New Zealand in December 2010 was widely criticised for its secrecy – including by journalists trying to find out what is happening. It looks positively transparent when compared to what we are now confronting, which is hugely depressing and totally unacceptable.” 

    So, the secretive negotiations are becoming even more secret 

  4. Murray Olsen 4

    As far as I can see, the TPPA formalises governments as the enforcement arm of the corporations. Key and co, as well as the likes of Mallard and Jones, might like the idea of cushy seats on various boards as a result of turning Aotearoa into a sweatshop/casino/private prison, but I can’t see anything in it for the rest of us. It’s so bad that I can only see signing or supporting it as acts of treason.

  5. Rosemarie 5

    Thankyou Karol for the info..very enlightening

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    Labour
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    Labour
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    Labour
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    Labour
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    Labour
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its… ...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review… ...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the… ...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says.… ...
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says.… ...
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional… ...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham… ...
    Labour
  • Tourist safety tags won’t lower toll, says safety campaigner
    Steering wheel tags with road safety tips for visiting drivers will do little or nothing to lower the tourist road toll, says a prominent road safety campaigner. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Tourist safety tags won’t lower toll, says safety campaigner
    Steering wheel tags with road safety tips for visiting drivers will do little or nothing to lower the tourist road toll, says a prominent road safety campaigner. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Public invited to have say on human rights record
    A draft report on New Zealand’s performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has been released for public comment by the Ministry of Justice. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Public invited to have say on human rights record
    A draft report on New Zealand’s performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has been released for public comment by the Ministry of Justice. ...
    Scoop politics
  • “Prominent Auckland businessman” a depraved predator
    The 15-year prison sentence imposed on a “prominent Auckland businessman” for shackling and sexually violating young drug-addicted girls in a dungeon, has been welcomed by sexual violence advocacy group, Stop Demand Foundation. ...
    Scoop politics
  • “Prominent Auckland businessman” a depraved predator
    The 15-year prison sentence imposed on a “prominent Auckland businessman” for shackling and sexually violating young drug-addicted girls in a dungeon, has been welcomed by sexual violence advocacy group, Stop Demand Foundation. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Proprietors of Wakatū v Attorney-General
    The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Wakatū Incorporation, Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kāhui Ngahuru Trust alleging breaches of trust and fiduciary duty against the Crown. The High Court had also dismissed the claims. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Proprietors of Wakatū v Attorney-General
    The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Wakatū Incorporation, Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kāhui Ngahuru Trust alleging breaches of trust and fiduciary duty against the Crown. The High Court had also dismissed the claims. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Smith investigation warrants executed
    Auckland City Police investigating prison absconder Phillip Smith's activities prior to his departure from New Zealand recently, are aware of allegations about a Department of Corrections staff member and today located and spoke with the person named in ...
    Scoop politics
  • Is Your Family Ok This Christmas?
    For many people Christmas is a time for gift giving and eating until you fall asleep on your Grandparent’s sofa. Unfortunately, in New Zealand, many families do not experience Christmas this way. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Government delivers realistic land transport investment plan
    Government delivers realistic land transport investment plan The AA has welcomed the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport 2015/16 - 2024/25. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Follow the Kiwi way these holidays
    New Zealanders are encouraged to ‘follow the Kiwi way’ over the holidays by showing respect for neighbouring landholders when accessing the country’s beaches, forests, rivers and mountains. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Irresponsible to ignore Auckland’s funding requirements
    We raised the debate on possible futures for the AECT to focus Auckland's attention on the parlous state of our city's development, says the chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association Kim Campbell. ...
    Scoop politics
  • PARS celebrates first graduation
    The first five participants of PARS’ (People At Risk Solutions) Toe Feso’ota’I Mentoring Programme graduated on Wednesday the 17th of December, marking the beginning of an innovative and culturally responsive mentoring programme that’s already helped ...
    Scoop politics
  • Back off the bumper this summer
    Media Release: 19 December 2014 Back off the bumper this summer A few seconds is all it will take to make our roads safer these summer holidays, says the AA. “Nearly 1 in 10 injury crashes last year involved someone… ...
    Scoop politics
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere