Gordon Campbell has always followed the TPP issue closely. Here he is on the latest developments:
Gordon Campbell on Bill English’s bizarre new/old trade deal
So, according to the Prime Minister, we all have an obligation to get in behind his zombie TPP deal, because of all the “jobs and income” it will bring in its wake. Really? That’s hilarious. This new “TPP 11” deal is entirely a pig in a poke. English has not got the foggiest idea what benefits this deal stands to bring right now, in a month’s time, or by year’s end – much less longer term out until 2030.
That’s partly because we have no way of knowing just how many TPP member countries will line up alongside Japan and NZ. The simple truth is that some countries –eg Vietnam and Malaysia – made concessions in the TPP negotiations on the basis of benefits that the US would deliver, and the US has now left the tent. Even if everyone did stay onside, I’d seriously doubt whether English can tell us what level of economic activity his new TPP variant would now deliver. Reportedly, by some measures the trade within this smaller bloc – this so-called “TPP 11” – is only a quarter of what it is between the original 12 members.
So English cannot credibly demand compliance from Labour and the Greens on the basis of trade benefits that he cannot quantify, or deliver. This whole “TPP 11” bizzo is decidedly weird. Having pushed the idea that we had to be in the TPP because the Americans were in it, we’re now feeling compelled to enact the whole thing, even though the Americans aren’t in it. To repeat: New Zealand – and other nations – made concessions and spent their political capital in order to meet American corporate demands. The likes of English are still promising to observe these commitments to the letter, even though the Americans won’t be there to keep their side of the bargain. The TPP has literally become a cargo cult ritual that’s being performed in the hope that someday, one day, the Americans will return, bearing gifts. …
Campbell goes on to summarise and analyse reaction in other TPP member countries, with plenty of focus on the instability and unpredictability of Trump. Well worth reading the whole thing.