Campbell on the TPP cargo cult

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, May 20th, 2017 - 17 comments
Categories: bill english, capitalism, International, trade - Tags: , ,

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.

17 comments on “Campbell on the TPP cargo cult”

  1. Hehehe …… ”I will return” …..

  2. bwaghorn 2

    ”TPP member companies, ” i know the nats see nz as a company put maybe country is a better fit

    • r0b 2.1

      Oops, ta, fixed…

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        What bwaghorn put up.
        So right, nothing to fix in that description. NZ Inc. or rather, NZ Ink, just a blot on the landscape to the slimy eelite and the world’s 1%.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    The TPP has literally become a cargo cult ritual

    That’s all it ever was. A ritual of the neo-liberal cult performed so that the politicians could say that they were making everything better while handing everything over to the rich.

  4. I am voting New Zealand First to get rid of this bastardly thing once and for all.

    What about you?

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    “PNGuineans such as Yali wanted cargo not because of its inherent and instantly recognizable value, but because of a desire to transform the relations of inequality between whites and blacks that were pervasive in colonialism. They wanted cargo primarily because they objected to the ways in which the centralized, colonial government used power and, correspondingly, diminished their relative worth.”
    https://savageminds.org/2005/09/05/214/

    This is a status seeking operation by Gnat insiders – they want access to the lucrative US corporate employment market – without of course developing the skills that they would need to be anything other than an embarrassment there. Small frogs outside of NZ, but ambitious. Groser & McCully lived a life of travelling hopefully, without ever achieving anything except perhaps securing the backhander from the Dubai deal.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Stuart Munro
      What you say has been in my mind too. Strutting on the stage with the others, enjoying the smell of power whatever that is, is the dream of many of our well connected or big talking pollies. Probably though their smell is the acrid one of anxious sweat diluted or exaggerated by big drinkies, I don’t know which. If they managed to stick to water only the outcomes may have been clearer and better I think.

  6. Red 6

    TPP is coming just a matter of when, the sooner the better for the Nz economy and its people

    • Barfly 6.1

      Lies

      • Muttonbird 6.1.1

        I think the Nats are so jealous of Labour’s China deal all these years on that they will sell anything down river just to get a headline deal of their own. It eats them and their supporters up inside.

        • Incognito 6.1.1.1

          I think you’re right that it is an ego trip for a few and that they and National desperately want to add a (the) TPPA to their trophy cabinet. After all, the groundwork has been done and the legislation is in place.

    • greywarshark 6.2

      Why stop at Red, include White and Blue and be honest for once in your life.

  7. keepcalmcarryon 7

    Its more dangerous than a “weird” cargo cult.
    By keeping the TTP alive the door is open for the next republican president – after Trump gets the heave ho -who just happens to be pro TPP.
    English doesnt need detail, the Nats want to lock New Zealand into this neoliberal pro corporate straightjacket before they leave office. Then they dont even have to be in office to reap their ideological reward.
    It is their legacy.

  8. Poission 8

    The Tppa has little to do with free trade (where tariff protection will still be used by Japan for agriculture) and more to do with the Financialization of sovereign states.

    Financialization transforms the functioning of economic systems at both the macro and micro levels.
    Its principal impacts are to
    (1) elevate the significance of the financial sector
    relative to the real sector, (2) transfer income from the real sector to
    the financial sector, and (3) increase income inequality and contribute to wage stagnation. Additionally, there are reasons to believe that financialization may put the economy at risk of debt deflationand prolonged recession.

    Financialization operates through three different conduits:
    changes in the structure and operation of financial markets, changes in
    the behavior of nonfinancial corporations, and changes in economic policy.
    Countering financialization calls for a multifaceted agenda that (1) restores policy
    control over financial markets, (2) challenges the neoliberal economic policy paradigm encouraged by financialization, (3) makes corporations responsive to interests ofstakeholders other than just financial markets, and (4) reform
    s the political process so as to diminish the influence of corporations and wealthy elites.

    http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_525.pdf

  9. SMILIN 9

    Weve seen what TPPA was going to bring to NZ in the last 8 years or so of pre LOBBYING and what have we got
    multinationals using us as a tax haven ,US SA UK and EU immigration into all the key JOBS in NZ govt media justice and state corporations
    And a country ruled by the property market
    Plus a running down of education and promotion of indigenous NZERs who have any leftist politics
    How blind do we have to be before we stop borrowing on and selling off the country’s assets to accommodate this neo liberal degradation
    of our social political base and destruction of our environment for the control by interests emanating from Washington etc

  10. John up North 10

    The things that make me shiver are along the lines of ISDS and

    – What if we wake up and realise the 35yr contracts to extract huge amounts of fresh water are detrimental to NZ and it’s people — pay up billions or STFU.

    – What happens when Nats give their mates (through erosion of the RMA) multi year contracts to extract phosphate and iron sands off the ocean floor. And the resulting environmental damage means we have to stop —– pay up billions or STFU.

    – And farms/factories/businesses that pollute to levels we can no longer ignore the harms being caused — pay up billions or STFU.

    We’re gonna get shat all over, minnows that we are, just ripe, ripe, ripe for on-going plunder.

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