Gordon Campbell (one of the last known practitioners of the dying art of journalism) claims that the TPP dairy deal is already done.
For five years, the public has been denied any meaningful information about the content and progress of the TPP – on the bogus excuse that for the government to do so would jeopardise its ability to conduct the negotiations. Yet in other countries, far more information is publicly available than is the case here. As a result, the public is being made vulnerable to political manipulation – as information is drip fed by the government primarily for its own political ends. We are not North Korea, but a five year blackout amounts to a near- totalitarian abuse of information on matters of crucial public interest.
Currently a classic example of this process is under way. For the past week, the government has been actively downplaying the likely deal on dairy access to overseas markets that New Zealand may achieve via the TPP … What’s going on here?
The likely explanation is that the dairy deal, has in fact, been done. Over the weekend, evidence has emerged that a new deal for NZ on dairy – and a solution to the previous impasse – has been reached, and is being reported on in North America. What our government has done is to talk down the likely outcome, so that it can maximise the gains of pulling the rabbit successfully out of the hat. Secrecy breeds the opportunities for this kind of spin.
The evidence about the New Zealand dairy deal is on the (expensively paywalled) Inside Trade publication. I can’t link you directly to it … the two articles to look for are (a) the article about the memo summarising the current state of TPP negotiations that has been written and circulated by the House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Democrat Sandor Levin, and (b) the separate article about the US deal on dairy with New Zealand, and the furious response by US dairy industry leaders.
Whether it is Canada that is conceding unilaterally or the US that is doing so, one thing is clear : New Zealand has won a specific carve-out for greater dairy access, and it knows exactly what it is because our dairy industry leaders have been heavily involved in formulating it. Groser’s coyness to RNZ on Friday about whether or not he will attend the ministerial meeting in Atlanta set for September 30- October 1st this week is – as mentioned – mere politicking. … [minor typos corrected]
Go read the whole article on Scoop for much more detail on the emerging evidence.