Audrey Young reports that John Key is trying to soften the ground for some “unpopular concessions” in the TPP arrangement.
He was speaking at the US-NZ Partnership Forum in Christchurch – an event sponsored by Warner Brothers.
A free trade agreement with the US could easily reduce our economic sovereignty and lead to multinationals having a hand in dictating New Zealand law. The phrase they use is “investor protections” which is a kind of code for “you will not pass any law to protect your citizens or your environment if it harms our profits.”
One of the biggest losses we could face would be the neutering of Pharmac – the pharmaceutical companies hate it because its monopsonistic structure makes it hard for them to gouge New Zealanders.
When asked about this Key’s response is typically evasive:
Asked later if he could abandon Pharmac, which bulk-buys generic medicines, he said all parties would need to confront challenges.
“But what we will do is once we can get a clear sense of what is required to make the deal work, then we will go back and analyse the benefits of that.
“In the end, we’re not going to sign any deal unless we believe it has a net benefit to New Zealand.”
This from a man who gave Warners tens of millions of dollars and an employment law change and then tried to pass it off as a “good deal”. I’m not reassured at all.