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How big were the TPPA gimmes, John?

Written By: - Date published: 7:14 pm, January 16th, 2014 - 82 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

News of today’s leak of the TPPA’s weak environmental text reminded me how John Key gave Barack Obama his third putt in their Hawaii golf photo-op.  Golfers call it a “gimme,” usually only given for very short putts. A White House press report at the time said  the two leaders “reaffirmed our continued work together to deepen our trade relationship, enhance regional security, and support the democratic values that the United States and New Zealand share.”

So we can be certain that the TPPA was discussed. Key’s invitation to golf and talk with Obama comes after the Singapore round of negotiations in December, where  the US adopted very heavy-handed negotiating tactics, giving very few concessions, and before the next meeting of Ministers in January.

John Key has previously been Barack Obama’s stalking horse, chairing the TPPA discussions in Bali when Obama was delayed in the US by the budget stand-off, and reported back to Obama. I have absolutely no doubt that as principals in the TPPA negotiation the leaders will have discussed bottom lines. Key will have made some concessions, but with his record of accommodating American interest one can only hope he will not turn out to have given too much away on Pharmac and other crucial issues   and become New Zealand’s Judas Goat. It certainly looked like Obama was in the driving seat on the golf course.

But as the negotiations are conducted in secret, we will not know the answer till its all over. It is all the more imperative that the negotiating documents are released; citizens have arguably more interest in the outcomes than do governments. Hopefully Key will questioned more closely by our media when he returns from Hawaii than was the case in the photo-op.

82 comments on “How big were the TPPA gimmes, John?”

  1. vto 1

    John Key cannot be trusted. That is what all of New Zealand has learned about him.

    God knows what the hell he has given away or what he wants to do.

    Who the fuck would know.

    Hands up who would trust him in this TPP shit?

    • Arfamo 1.1

      I trust that he’s selling us out to his mates in the US.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        +1^666

      • AmaKiwi 1.1.2

        “I trust that he’s selling us out to his mates in the US.”

        No. His mates in big business.

        The American people are also getting screwed by TPPA.

        TPPA is about creating and protecting monopolies.

        • Arfamo 1.1.2.1

          No. His mates in big business.

          He doesn’t really have any mates. If he went bankrupt overnight every powerful prick he flatters and mingles with would pretend they’d never heard of him. A few of them would probably have flunkies bill him for anything they’d given him for nothing. The first bill in would probably be from Buckingham Palace. Winz would be on the phone demanding to know how many job interviews he’d had this week.

  2. floyd 2

    those photos of key with obama were hysterical. At no stage (in the photos) was there any eye contact and no sign of any verbal exchange. key did that constipated grimace that he does when he knows he is out of his depth. No way were they there for a friendly game and a lovely chat at the 19th. And by the way he definitely does not need a goon squad to protect him as he definitely does not stand out in a crowd. Even a crowd of two. Totally protected by his absolutely nondescript appearance. Which one again???? That one!! Are you sure??? Isn’t he a PA or something??

  3. philj 3

    JK is a very smart, devious narcissist. He is an entrepreneur masquerading as a pry minister.

    • SpaceMonkey 3.1

      Entrepreneur…???? He is a bankster masquerading… FYIY

    • Mike S 3.2

      He’s not an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs generally add value to an economy. He’s an ex parasitic currency speculator. He’s also very probably psychopathic.

  4. Wayne 4

    vto, I do.

    But I know that on this site there is universal opposition to TPP. Of course that is the Green/Internet/Mana/Maori Party/NZF position, as well as most Labour left activists.

    But it is not the Labour Party/National/Act/UF position. And of course that is the majority of Parliament.

    So in the next few months we will see.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Only sociopaths trust proven liars.

      But it is not the Labour Party/National/Act/UF position. And of course that is the majority of Parliament.

      I really, really, hope that Labour support National in this. It will be their end and we can then get on with some serious change.

      • Enough is Enough 4.1.1

        Absolutley agree Draco.

        Labour has been such a dissapointment for 30 years now. And with Parker lining up to control the purse strings that dissapointment is set to continue.

        For the sake of this country a new real Labour party needs to establish itself that stands for the interests of workers, not capitalists.

        When will that day come?

    • Sacha 4.2

      If this government trusted us to know what it’s signing off in the TPP, how many New Zealanders would support or oppose it?

    • newsense 4.3

      No Wayne, that is not correct.

      But also we don’t like to write blank cheques trusting folk who have played dodgy maths with our country being more equal and our tax sytem more progressive.

      In short we don’t know what the TPPA is, so until it pops out of its wooden horse we will treat it with the suspicion it deserves. We don’t know what it is.

      What is it that you are giving universal approval to? There is no finished text. Is the universal approval merely for doing whatever the US wants, whatever the cost?

      Would you have sent NZ troops to Iraq, Dr Mapp?

      • Paul 4.3.1

        Wayne envies what the Republicans have archived in the US.

      • Lantahnide 4.3.2

        I was going to write a similar reply but you’ve said it better than I could manage.

        I don’t necessarily oppose the TPPA, just it seems like a dodgy deal that probably will hurt us more than it helps. But it’s all secret so we can’t know for sure.

      • Molly 4.3.3

        I don’t know about Dr Mapp but do know that Dr Paul Hutchinson would have.

        Attended an ANZAC ceremony – (one of my last while my son was in scouts) just after Helen Clark confirmed that we would not have NZ active combat units in Iraq.

        To my disgust – Dr Hutchinson used this occasion to launch into a ten minute tirade against this decision – and how the National Party would “support their allies” if they were in government.

        So, fast forward to a time when everyone else was becoming appalled at the lies, debacle and behaviour of the invading armies (or as I think of them, taxpayer funded security services for oil and gas), we committed our servicemen and women to Afghanistan in active combat duty.

        And have lost ten of them.

        The sacrifice of some of our sons and daughters needs to be considered with much more care.

    • vto 4.4

      Really Wayne? Why do you trust him? Particularly when he has been shown countless times to be untrustworthy (tranzrail shares by just one example)?

      Why do you trust John Key Wayne?

      Tell us, do…

      • Wayne 4.4.1

        vto,

        As many on this site know, I was actually in cabinet with him. So yes I do trust him. In fact one of the most important points for John Key was to deliver on the things we had promised the electorate. And we had to that notwithstanding the GFC.

        The GFC did mean we had to borrow heavily to keep things going. From time to time this is a point of criticism on this site, but name one OECD govt that didn’t borrow during the GFC.

        And the public do get that, so that sort of criticism is seen as a bit ridiculous.

        And generally the economic news has been looking pretty good, and I reckon that will be the main issue in the election.

        And it will play well for John Key, since in my view many of the gains can be attributed to building, in a large number of measures, a better economic climate. Each of them may be quite small, but collectively they add up.

        It is less a grand vision, as Derek Handley might want, and more about being competent and focussed on getting a whole lot of smaller things right.

        For instance RMA reform, workplace reform, building regulations, tax reform, ACC being sorted, sorting out the plethora of tertiary qualifications, getting polytechnics in a better shape, encouraging oil and gas, reducing the size of govt a bit, balancing the books, focusing on FTA’s, roads of national significance, focused expenditure on business innovation, etc,etc.

        Now I know the Left oppose most of these things, but hey thats the Left/Right divide to be debated this year.

        • thatguynz 4.4.1.1

          Couple of factual inaccuracies there Wayne.

          We did not have to borrow heavily to weather the storm of the GFC – we had to borrow heavily to subsidise the budget hole left by the unaffordable tax cuts. That is of course perpetuating the asinine status quo whereby as a sovereign nation we don’t have control of our own money supply and shouldn’t actually need to borrow from the “international marketplace” but possibly best that that conversation is left for another day. I can just see you winding up the obvious yet still incorrect counter-argument of supposed inflationary pressure..

        • vto 4.4.1.2

          Well thanks Wayne, your reply is appreciated, even though it ignored the question at hand – around why you put trust in John Key. “Because you were in cabinet with him” is you sole and brief explanation. That’s it. No further elaboration, no further dissemination, no further complexity, nothing added around ‘factual inconsistencies’, nothing, nada, zip, diddly …..

          That’s a fail imo. \

          It may work in front of the tele Wayne but you aint convinced me nothing. In fact, your pathetic reply convinces me more otherwise i.e. the scant and weak-arsed reply implies that you agree with me and the zero credibility that Key has …..

          • Tracey 4.4.1.2.1

            I suspect Wayne was probably once in cabinet with John banks and Doug Graham too… and one has proven a lack of integrity or taking money for false pretences (director fees when not having sufficient knowledge to be a director of that company) and the other is facing charges, his defence of which is that he didnt read an important document ( a lawyer would never make such a mistake aye Wayne?) (also took fees as an Executive Director and then claimed no responsibility for the failure to disclose by Huljich).

            And then there is Wayne, who wants to commit us to a TPPA agreement he has never read.

        • vto 4.4.1.3

          Oh and wayne, I can’t resist noting the irony around having to take on debt to deal with a problem caused by taking on debt (GFC).

          The money / credit system is a ponzi system groaning at the end of its life-cycle. The money factories have your National Party (and Labour it seems) wound around their little pinkies. You should show some guts in this arena…

          Would you agree?

        • Tracey 4.4.1.4

          “And generally the economic news has been looking pretty good,”

          Thanks for the party political broadcast Wayne. Nice concise use of slogans and soundbites, but one question remains unanswered

          How do you think this “good news” will be different from similar good news over the last 30+ years? Please be specific with explantions of why this time and not the last few times over the past 30-40 years. A credible answer is not a version of “well, it would be worse without it”, because the man you say delivers on his promises didnt promise to not make things worse he promised a brighter future.

          I have been observing this “economic good news” on and off for the last thirty to forty years and it doesnt close the gap between rich and poor, it doesnt reduce domestic violence, it doesn’t lead to full employment, it doesnt lead to greater workplace safety, it doesn’t lead to National raising the minimum wage.

          How do you think this “good news” will be different from similar good news over the last 30+ years?

      • geoff 4.4.2

        Wayne trusts Johnny because Johnny has Wayne’s closest interests at heart….his investment portfolio.

        As Stewie says(I don’t expect Wayne to get the reference)…it’s good to own land(and buildings and businesses and shares and money and…)

        Ain’t that right Wayne? At least have the balls to admit you cheer lead for National because you’re wealthy and well..basically…sod anyone else who isn’t.

    • geoff 4.5

      Wayne said:But I know that on this site there is universal opposition to TPP.

      Probably because they’ve watched the vids of you debating Jane Kelsey.

      TPPA: Kelsey vs Mapp debate

      One the one hand was Jane who knew about the specific problems with the TPPA and then on the other we had you, Wayne, contributing essentially nothing of value whatsoever. Your defense of the TPPA consisted almost entirely of irrelevant generalities.
      Little wonder that the majority of informed people would oppose the TPPA.

    • Enough is Enough 4.6

      Does David Parker support it?

  5. Will@Welly 5

    Forgive me if I’ve got this wrong, but even after the TPP is ratified, which, if it is passed under National, it will be, aren’t the contents of it supposed to be kept secret for upto 4 years, so in the event of National being re-elected, we’re f**ked.
    Not trying to stir, but that’s how I remember how things are supposed to play out.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Yep, that’s it exactly. We won’t get to see everything until all necessary law changes have been made. We may not even know which law changes are specifically for the TPP.

    • Matthew Hooton 5.2

      Yes, you have that wrong. The whole thing is public before ratification. Although I think this is all academic. It never will be ratified by the US Congress and so will nervy come into force, even if it is agreed.

      • northshoredoc 5.2.1

        Correct US congress will veto any loosening of access to the USA agricultural market. If the rest of the countries had any sense they’d just exclude the USA and get on with it themselves.

        • Lantahnide 5.2.1.1

          Yip.

          I don’t know why the TPPA let the US into their treehouse, when it’s obvious the US would come in with a fixed agenda and only self-serving ‘compromises’.

      • Tracey 5.2.2

        How much money do you reckon the Labour and National Governments have wasted pursuing this TPP which you suspect will never happen? And why are they doing it? To get close to and form relationships with other parties?

    • Wayne 5.3

      No that would not be correct. As soon as it is finalized it will be public, and presumably a lot of background information. Which in truth is already occurring.

      But I can understand why at this sensitive stage in the negotiations why every draft and every negotiating position is not public. To do so would almost certainly make each nations compromises more difficult. And each country will have to compromise their position in order for all to agree.

      • Tracey 5.3.1

        “Which in truth is already occurring. ”

        Do you see any irony in you being able to reach your position of support of the TPP on the back of Edward Snowden? Do you support his leaks?

        “But I can understand why at this sensitive stage in the negotiations why every draft and every negotiating position is not public. To do so would almost certainly make each nations compromises more difficult. And each country will have to compromise their position in order for all to agree.

        After all these years and in particular the realisdation that the USA has been spying on its allies, including trade organisations, do you say with a straight face that nations still have positions unknown to each other?

        Can you explain why corporations, who can exploit the knowledge, can have access but not the people YOU claim will benefit, and whom the so-called main negotiators represent?

        Would you recommend a client let you sign a document on their behalf which they have never seen, impacts them greatly, and take your word for it?

        • Sacha 5.3.1.1

          It’s not helpful that big business has had ongoing access to the draft texts, but no civic organisations have. Pretty clear in whose interests this thing is being negotiated when you look who’s allowed in the room.

  6. Lloyd 6

    New Zealand should be insisting that all countries in TPP have an equivalent of Pharmac. We could also charge for the intellectual property.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Better to give it away.

    • Will@Welly 6.2

      The American Pharmaceutical Companies want it gone. Key and co will initially offer subsidies to those on prescriptions, but new patients will miss out. Over time, those being subsidized will see their subsides fall behind the actual cost of the prescriptions, much like the “great GST/tax switch” was a fraud.

      • northshoredoc 6.2.1

        Nope, the majority of the volume of rX pharmaceuticals in NZ are now very cheap as they are tendered three yearly I can’t see how anything within a TPP that will have any effect on these products at all.

        • mickysavage 6.2.1.1

          What about after the three year contracts end NSD, what then?

          • northshoredoc 6.2.1.1.1

            They re-tender Mickey these medications are all out of patent

            • Sacha 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Doesn’t the TPP agreement aim to extend drug patent lifetimes, according to the leaked IP chapter? Bye bye generics for Pharmac or anyone else to buy cheap.

              And Groser’s reassuring noises about the form of Pharmac not changing doesn’t mean much if the drugs cost more.

        • bad12 6.2.1.2

          Your’s is simply a comment of stupidity when measured against the numerous media reports that one of the ‘sticking’ points in the TPP negotiations thus far is in fact attached to the question Pharmac V the international pharmacutical giants…

          • northshoredoc 6.2.1.2.1

            Nah not really, it’s all red herring stuff. There are now plenty of PHARMAC type operations throughout the world. International Pharma in NZ is tiny and staffed and run by buffoons.

            • Bearded Git 6.2.1.2.1.1

              I thought, from numerous reports over the last few years, that there was a general consensus that Pharmac is a huge success, saving the NZ public a billion dollars a year in medicine bills. (And yes it was set up by Labour.)

              While they may have made the odd mistake, this doesn’t sound like there is a bunch of buffoons in charge.

              • northshoredoc

                PHARMAC is successful in keeping the prices down if you actually read what I wrote I stated that

                “International Pharma in NZ is tiny and staffed and run by buffoons.”

            • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2.1.2.1.2

              Oh really ! Buffons ?. The researched Medicines Association would say that too !

              This is another view .

              “Grattan Institute Health Program released a report titled “Australia’s bad drug deal” by Dr Stephen Duckett, in which he states that Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme pays at least $1.3 billion a year too much for prescription drugs. New Zealand, which has capped its budget and appointed independent experts to make decisions, pays a sixth as much as the PBS for the same drugs. Public hospitals in two Australian states pay much lower prices than the PBS. In one case,the prices are just a sixth of PBS prices. In one extreme example the report states that “The price of one drug, Olanzapine, is 64 times higher on the PBS than in Western Australian public hospitals”
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmaceutical_Benefits_Scheme

              • northshoredoc

                I think you misunderstood why I wrote.

                “International Pharma in NZ is tiny and staffed and run by buffoons.”

                The RMI is the industry body for said group of buffoons and they are well stacked with morons.

                PHARMAC certainly do a good job in NZ keeping the prices down, the PBS in Australia could do a much better job as much of the cost over there is going in enormous profits to the pharmacy owners.

            • dave 6.2.1.2.1.3

              asia doesnt need a phamac they just generic the drugs!

    • northshoredoc 6.3

      What intellectual property ?

    • TightyRighty 6.4

      great idea. really good idea. it’d require kiwis to run it overseas as well though. it’s a prime target for corruption

  7. infused 7

    1) You don’t know shit, so why say you do?

    2) TTPA will never get passed, so why keep whining about it? No sorry – continue.

  8. karol 8

    As usual, a very good analysis from Jane Kelsey of the latest leaks.

    She points out how the environment chapter is a bit of a sop, is weak, and can be over-ridden by the chapters that give more power of vetos to corporates.

    She also strips back some of the layers of evidence and misinformation to show that there is a lot of gaming going on: the US trying to force things the way Obama wants, and other coutnries with misgivings about the proposals, trying to push back through whateer means possible – including leaking chapters they are unhappy about eg the environment one.

    • Tracey 8.1

      She is just a crazy for believing we are a part of an ecosystem, not apart of it. Humans are defying nature and can rip, shit and bust the ecosystem as long as it makes some money for a few, and many others believe they will make money too, soon.

  9. Tracey 9

    Infused

    How much money you reckon our govts have wasted on a tpp that will never happen? Labour and nat govts. You reckon we are in millions… tens of mills or more?

    • Wayne 9.1

      Just because Matthew Hooton says TPP won’t happen does not mean it won’t.

      From what I can see the Congress is becoming a bit more realistic about making deals. The Republicans by and large favor TPP. Quite a lot of Democrats will as well. I therefore suspect there will be a majority in favor.

      The big political battles in Congress will not be fought over TPP. There are plenty of other issues over which those battles can occur.

      And there will be a lot of awareness in the US that if they scuttle TPP, they will have given a huge advantage to China. The RCEP is the other big trade negotiation and most TPP nations (but not the US) are also in the RCEP negotiations. If TPP fails, but RCEP goes ahead, the US is essentially cut out.

      • geoff 9.1.1

        Yeah cos the US Congress is the epitome of realism.

        This message brought to by Wayne’s World!*

        *A subsidiary of Planet Key

      • Tracey 9.1.2

        I can understand your optimism Wayne. The USA, have done well under their trade agreements.

        “Nearly two decades after NAFTA was implemented, the goals and promises of the agreement remain unrealized. In fact, quite the opposite has resulted. NAFTA has been devastating to the U.S. trade deficit and has resulted in massive job losses—particularly in the manufacturing sector. Between 1994 and 2010, U.S. trade deficits with Mexico totaled $97.2 billion and displaced an estimated 682,900 U.S. jobs. Nearly all of the losses were in manufacturing.

        Job losses play a role in the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States as well. Since NAFTA began, nearly 300,000 family farms in Mexico have been put out of business. The lack of work is forcing Mexican workers to seek employment and better opportunities elsewhere to support their families. The United States is where they set their sights; the number of Mexicans migrating each year to our country has more than doubled. In 1993, there was an estimated 3.9 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. By 2011, that number exploded to an estimated 23 million.”

        • Wayne 9.1.2.1

          So Tracey, both the US lost out and the Mexicans lost out. A bit counter intuitive: a trade deal where everyone lost out. I don’t think you would find a single reputable economist who would agree with that.

          I can understand the argument that there are nations that are winners and losers, especially if they have heavily protected sectors. But I have never heard the theory that the higher the barriers, the better the economy.

          Mind you thats how the NZ manufacturing sector ran from 1938 to 1984. It was of course dependent on a successful agricultural sector to pay the cost of it. Once the UK joined the EU that was the end of that. This failure was of course the reason for Rogernomics. The country was going broke PDQ. Agriculture didn’t really do well until Asian markets took over from the 1990’s. And look at the gains for NZ since the China FTA. A hugely important factor in the current economy (third highest growth in the OECD).

          Mind you just about everyone on The Standard opposed the China FTA back in 2008, (although I understand Iprent was a supporter). So based on precedent, I am inclined to disbelieve the opponents to TPP.

          And seriously, why does anyone think that this has anything to do with my personal assets, (which are pretty much as one might expect from residents of a large part of Bayswater – nothing exceptional there I assure you).

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2.1.1

            Mind you thats how the NZ manufacturing sector ran from 1938 to 1984. It was of course dependent on a successful agricultural sector to pay the cost of it.

            See, this is actually a load of bollocks.

            If we’d been running our economy correctly we would have stopped expanding our farms once we had enough to feed our population. Increased productivity due to farming frees up enough people to do other stuff such as finding and mining minerals, manufacturing using those materials and, of course, R&D.

            All money would have been created by government and spent into the economy to produce this general effect.

            Instead we built our economy to benefit the foreign bankers. Loaning money from them at interest which necessitated massive, unrestrained growth with a focus on what we already knew – farming. This inevitably led to NZ becoming nearly bankrupt which brought about the neo-liberal reforms of the 4th Labour government. Reforms that, for a short period, slightly rebalanced the economy but since that ended an ever increasing amount of private debt necessitating ever more sales of NZs assets (Land, companies, etc) all of which are taking ever further into debt. The result of which will be serfdom for the majority of NZers as the country gets sold out beneath them.

          • Will@Welly 9.1.2.1.2

            Wayne – Stop blowing hot air out of your a**e!!
            The reason New Zealand was in the s**t was simply that the think big projects were implemented at the wrong time, cost too much, and because so many happened at the same time, we were unable to pay for them in a lump sum. That’s simplistic, but in a nutshell, the debt from think big overwhelmed the economy.
            We borrowed too much, at a time when interest rates were going up.
            As for trade deals, they really only work in favour of the majority shareholder, i.e. the larger player. China ever only entered this “free trade agreement” as an experiment to see how it would deal with the rest of the world, meanwhile we see our jobs head off-shore at an alarmingly faster rate.
            With the exception of Fiji, how much “cheap” clothing was imported into New Zealand, and where exactly from, before the rise of China in the mid-90’s? Some from Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore, but very little from elsewhere.
            As for agriculture, the big turn around has been the change to dairying, where essentially, the country is subsidizing the Australian banks who are the big winners with the inflated costs of land and dairy stock – all paid for by humungous leveraging of debt. The Aussies are having the biggest laugh.

          • Tracey 9.1.2.1.3

            Were my questions too hard Wayne? I notice how you cherry pick which questions to answer and ignore others, which itself, can speak volumes.

      • Paul 9.1.3

        Trade deals in the US highly unpopular after they signed NAFTA and lost all their manufacturing jobs.
        Wayne’s share portfolio more important than a country’s sovereignty though.
        Quisling.

        • vto 9.1.3.1

          .

          Now we are getting to the nub, thanks Paul…..

          .

          SHARE PORTFOLIO IS WORTH MORE

          .

          This is the driver for “trade agreements”

          .

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Partnership or Putsch?

    In reality, the one thing that non-democratic regimes can never tolerate is independent workers’ organizations. That is why trade unionists were the first through the gates of Dachau, and why Poland’s Solidarity movement posed an existential threat to Communist power throughout the former Soviet bloc.

    This struck me really powerfully as our present government seems to be doing it’s damnedest to get rid of unions. Then there was the closing statement:

    As a political scientist, I am sometimes asked how it is possible for democracies to enact laws that run counter to the interests of the vast majority of voters. They do so, in part, by shunning any commitment to democracy itself. There is no clearer example of this than the TPP, which almost certainly constitutes the single biggest threat to the preservation – or creation – of any signatory country’s middle class.

    And that to we see from this government. An absolute and total shunning of democracy. They got rid of ECan, they implemented the SuperCity by removing the need for a referendum and now they’re negotiating the TPPA in secret.

  11. dave 11

    waynes world there is no housing problem ,there is no income inequality ,there is no unemployment ,there is no farmers destroying water ways , there is no gcsb , waynes world freedom is defined as the free movement of capital.

  12. RedBaronCV 12

    Is the TPPA Wayne’s allocated beat?. As far as I know he has no official position with respect to TPPA and doesn’t contribute links, analysis or anything other than repeating ‘it’s a good thing, it’s a good thing..”. Other contributors discuss the effects, outcomes, what other countries have disclosed etc, etc.

    This is the only thing that Wayne really contributes on here on TS. So is he doing this out of the goodness of his heart or some other reason …?

    And do we want to be part of China and the USA eyeing each otehr across the pacific. Might us smaller nations be better just in a group together?

  13. veutoviper 13

    From the last paragraph of the post:

    But as the negotiations are conducted in secret, we will not know the answer till its all over. It is all the more imperative that the negotiating documents are released; citizens have arguably more interest in the outcomes than do governments. Hopefully Key will questioned more closely by our media when he returns from Hawaii than was the case in the photo-op.

    I have not had time to focus on this post or the comments in the last week, but from a link KDC posted a week ago, I found a link to the US Senate Committee on Finance press release on the fast track bipartisan Bill introduced on TPP.

    http://www.finance.senate.gov/newsroom/chairman/release/?id=7cd1c188-87f1-4a0b-8856-3fc139121ca9

    A couple of extracts, but the full press release is well worth reading to get a better feel for the overall intentions of the Bill.

    The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 establishes 21st century Congressional negotiating objectives and rules for the Administration to follow when engaged in trade talks, including strict requirements for Congressional consultations and access to information. Provided the Administration follows the rules, special procedures apply when moving a negotiated deal that satisfies the objectives through the Senate and House of Representatives.

    TPA-2014 also provides greater transparency and gives Congress greater oversight of the Administration’s trade negotiations.

    The press release also includes links to a one page summary and the full text

    http://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/TPA%20One%20Pager.pdf
    http://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/TPA%20bill%20text.pdf

    I have no strong feeling as to whether or not TPP will be passed by Congress as per Hooten and Wayne’s opposing opinions above.

    Putting aside justifiable (IMO) concerns re US protectionism, and TPP not being in the interests of the other parties to TPPA etc, another aspect of the Bill really stood out to me from reading the press release and the one pager.

    That is – the completely different stance that Congress is taking on transparency and the involvement of Congress at all stages of the negotiation by the US adminstration of trade agreements; compared to the lack of similar processes here in NZ (including the BS we are being fed by Groser and other Ministers on the need for secrecy on the TPPA.)

    The two extracts above from the press release above give a little feel for this aspect.

    The one pager goes into more detail.

    Strengthens and Improves Existing Law: TPA-2014 includes three main components.

     Directs the Administration to pursue Congressional prerogatives through Congressionally-mandated negotiating objectives;

     Establishes robust consultation and access to information requirements before, during, and after negotiations that ensure an open and transparent process for Members and the public; and

     Preserves Congressional prerogatives and gives Congress the final say in approving trade agreements through procedures providing for an up-or-down vote on the final implementing bills without amendment.

    Strengthens Consultations with Congress and the Public: New and expanded provisions empower Congress and ensure it plays a meaningful role in negotiations.
     Ensures Access to Text: Statutorily ensures that every Member of Congress has access to negotiating text.
     Strengthens Congressional Consultations: Requires USTR to meet and consult with any interested Member of Congress, at any time. Expands scope of consultation requirements before, during, and after negotiations.
     Allows All Members to Participate in Negotiating Process: Allows any Member of Congress to be designated as a Congressional Adviser and accredited to attend negotiating rounds.
     Establishes House and Senate Advisory Groups on Negotiations: Creates House and Senate Advisory Groups on Negotiations to oversee ongoing trade talks and requires regular, scheduled meetings. Provides for any Member of Congress to submit views.
     Enhances Transparency and Coordination with the Public and Advisory Committees: Requires transparency, as well as processes for public participation and collaboration through written guidelines on public engagement and on information-sharing with advisory committees.

    Keeps Congress in Control of Implementing Bills: New and expanded provisions ensure that Congress retains control over implementing legislation and provides rules for consideration without amendment.

     Provides Robust Reporting Requirements: Expands reporting requirements on the effects of trade agreements. Requires that all reports be made public.

    This so different from what we have here in NZ currently vis a vis the role of Parliament, and the claimed need for secrecy on TPPA, that I thought it was well worth raising in the context of this post and the discussion.

    Sorry about the length of the comment – and I have no run out of time as I have an appointment. But I have been trying to find the time to post on this and I am very interested in other’s views on this aspect.

  14. Tracey 14

    Wayne

    I see you skipped over all my questions to comment on a further post. Were my questions unclear?

  15. Huginn 15

    Sorry about the lengthy cut&paste, but . . .

    Major Political Donors Have Access to TPP Documents. Everyone Else? Not So Much.

    Aside from select members of the Administration, the only people with full access to the working documents on the TPP negotiations are the members of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) trade advisory system, including the 18-member Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (ITAC-15). Members of ITAC-15 include representatives from businesses and industry groups like the Recording Industry Association of America, Verizon, and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; no public-interest groups, academics, or other non-industry experts serve on the committee.

    The industry trade advisory system was created by Congress, and membership is partly based on recommendations made from senators and representatives. The organizations represented on ITAC-15 include several top political spenders, who combined have given millions of dollars to members of Congress in recent years.

    Data: MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to current members of the Senate and House of Representatives from Political Action Committees (PACs) and employees of organizations represented by the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (ITAC-15), from Jan. 1, 2003 – Dec. 31, 2012. Data source: OpenSecrets.org

    The 18 organizations represented by ITAC-15 gave nearly $24 million to current members of Congress from Jan. 1, 2003 – Dec. 31, 2012.
    AT&T has given more than $8 million to current members of Congress, more than any other organization represented by ITAC-15.
    House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has received $433,350 from organizations represented by ITAC-15, more than any other member of Congress.
    Democrats in Congress have received $11.4 million from organizations represented by ITAC-15, while Republicans in Congress have received $12.6 million.
    The members of Congress sponsoring fast-track legislation, which would allow the President to block Congress from submitting amendments to the TPP, have received a combined $758,295 from organizations represented by ITAC-15. They include Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus ($140,601), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Members Orrin Hatch ($178,850), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp ($216,250), House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade Chairman Devin Nunes ($86,000), and House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions ($136,594).

    http://maplight.org/content/73378

  16. Tracey 16

    New court documents show that in chasing down associates of Freedom Hosting, the FBI managed to download the entire email database of TorMail.

    And now it’s using that information to take on the Darknet.

    It’s unknown exactly how many users or how much data is in the TorMail network, but we do know that the FBI has it all.

    The agency obtained a search warrant for a TorMail account connected to a Florida man accused of stealing credit card numbers in order to search its own copy of the database.

    It appears that the FBI acquired the database while using malware to investigate Freedom Hosting last year.

    As Wired put it: “The tactic suggests the FBI is adapting to the age of big-data with an NSA-style collect-everything approach, gathering information into a virtual lock box, and leaving it there until it can obtain specific authority to tap it later.”

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