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Oram on the TPP

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, October 12th, 2015 - 143 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Globalisation, trade - Tags: , , ,

Rod Oram’s Sunday Star-Times column, as made available on Facebook, is a level-headed evaluation of the TPP:

Scant evidence so far TPP is a trade agreement for the 21st century

This column is not a ‘no’ to TPP. It is a request to our government to be much more convincing about why we should sign the trade agreement. Of the five main reasons it has given so far two are weak, two debatable and one unproven.

First, tariffs. The government talks of sweeping reductions. They are indeed broad but they are so shallow they are almost meaningless. … Worse, small fluctuations in commodity prices and exchange rates will wipe out those miniscule gains. Moreover, tariff reductions will more likely benefit distributors, retailers and consumers overseas than producers here.

Second, wider economic benefits. The government says these will amount to $2.7 billion a year by 2030. Again, that’s exceedingly modest. Our current exports of goods and services to TPP countries are $28 b a year. They could double by 2030, assuming modest rates of growth and inflation. The uplift from TPP would roughly equal six months’ extra growth in exports over 15 years.

Third, writing the rules for 21st century trade. The whole nature of business, economics and trade is changing ever faster. This is often disruptive as we see with co-operative models such as open source software or collaborative ones such as Uber and Airbnb. … Thus, the TPP in summary form reads like a charter to protect incumbents rather than to promote disruptors. Don’t be fooled by the tiny ground the US drug, entertainment and tobacco industries conceded. Those exceptions could prove the rule.

Fourth, Asia-Pacific integration. TPP is supposed to be the platform for all this region’s economies. But China is missing, by design. As President Obama said when announcing the deal “we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy. We should write those rules.” … China is our largest trading partner. If it falls out with the US over TPP, let’s hope it doesn’t force us to choose which camp we’re in.

Fifth, the cost to New Zealand. The government assures us it is minuscule. We will give up only $20 million a year of import tariffs; Pharmac will be unaffected; and changes to IP on drugs and other products and to copyright will have minimal adverse impact. But we don’t yet know the detail on crucial issues such as the Investor-State Dispute Settlement procedures. Nor do we know what our government has managed to get in to Chapter 29, in which each country lists its exceptions to the treaty. …

See the full article for plenty more!


Also well worth reading this from Danyl at Dimpost:

Second thoughts on the TPPA

I still can’t get over the estimations of how little this deal is worth to us. From MFAT:

  • estimated GDP gains for New Zealand of US$2 billion in the year 2025 (a 0.9% increase in GDP);
  • estimated export gains for New Zealand of US$4.1 billion in the year 2025 (a 6.8% increase in exports);
  • and further income gains (up to US$2.1 billion) are estimated from a lift in the terms of trade and greater consumer access to goods and services.

Just to put that in perspective our GDP grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of this year. So the TPP will deliver the equivalent of a couple of months of growth in ten years time. Now, our diplomatic corps has been working on this for about ten years, and they cost us well over a quarter of a billion dollars a year. Have we spent more putting this trade partnership together than we’ll actually earn from it?

Then there are the costs from the deal itself. We don’t know whether investor state dispute mechanisms are going to be a disaster or a big nothing. We do know about the intellectual property provisions … Just about every economist alive thinks the US model is awful: anti-competitive and anti-innovation and terrible for consumers. So in this very significant way the TPP is a move away from free markets.

The whole things feels more-and-more like a bait-and-switch, just as its critics warned throughout the process. …

Once again see the original for more.

143 comments on “Oram on the TPP”

  1. Nck 1

    Thank Goodness….. more sane voices…..shout from the rooftops…!!….. I don’t know why Labour/Greens aren’t at least coming out with a basic analysis like these writers…?

  2. Rae 2

    I think our sovereignty is worth much, more than the few shekels the government seems to have traded it away for. It is worth even more than any amount of shekels, it may well be the most valuable thing we have, in the long run.
    Tim Groser has traded away our right to vote for a government that might change the rules over foreigners purchasing land and houses, among other things, which, while I am opposed, generally, to allowing foreigners carte blanche with our real estate, accept that as long as we have the sort of government we have, it will continue. The majority of people are at the very least, concerned about this, to remove their right to elect a government that will change it, is totally anti-democratic.
    All I can see with the TPP is that protectionism is being removed from governments and transferred to corporations. It’s big v little, which explains why their is widespread objection to it, even in the States, and big has been handed all the ammo.
    Lastly, and the thing that should send shivers down everyone’s spine, was Obama saying,
    “When more than 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “We should write those rules, opening new markets to American products while setting high standards for protecting workers and preserving our environment.”
    That is bloody scary, and I have always had some regard for Obama, but he seems to be almost as much a corporate glove puppet as any other US president of late.
    I would rather we scrap this, I prefer the idea of bi-lateral agreements, they can be tailored to be absolutely fit for purpose, not this abomination.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Thus, the TPP in summary form reads like a charter to protect incumbents rather than to promote disruptors.

    This is what the TPPA is about – protecting the rich and the corporations. It’s got nothing to do with making life better for anybody else.

    • savenz 3.1

      @Draco – in fact it is actually making it worse for most people. Watch standards drop for most people while the rise of the super rich under TPP.

      It is already happening with the rise in inequality now.

    • Sacha 3.2

      Protecting the laziest corporations from more nimble competitors, at that. Locking in current advantage, when we need widespread innovation to solve massive problems like climate change and poverty.

    • AmaKiwi 3.3

      All dying empires are the same, but die because you can’t shovel sand against the tide.

      Defend your sandcastles Key and your rich mates.

    • kenny 3.4

      Most businesses HATE competition, but those who can get them love government contracts. This is crony-capitalism at its best.

      Just ask SERCO.

  4. savenz 4

    From Wikileaks

    Under the terms of the text, countries in the TPP can force each other to suspend legal proceedings if the trial would cause embarrassing information — information “detrimental to a party’s economic interests, international relations, or national defense or national security” — would come to light. That would be the Wikileaks/Snowden clause.

    Oh and just took over our justice system.

    Cos embarrassment to government spies or economic interests is more important than justice and transparency.

    TPP just enabling a dictatorship then.

  5. Wayne 5

    A reasonably predictable article from Rod Oram. He is consistently critical of just about every economic platform of the current government.

    Given that Standardnistas have been opposed to TPP pretty much from the get go, anything that anyone says in opposition to TPP is going to be grist to the mill.

    I note Labour seems to moving toward being formally against TPP. It is an easy position to take given that Labour knows its support is not necessary for the TPP enabling legislation to pass. And one that Labour presumably considers has less political risk than being in support, particularly in respect of its activist base. I presume that this is why there are so many anti -TPP items on The Standard – activists trying to ensure that Labour will formally oppose TPP

    But the real question is; would Labour withdraw from TPP? There will be withdrawal provisions in the agreement. Before the 2017 election Labour will have to be tested on this point.

    In any event, the action now is really in the US. All the other 11 countries have constitutional arrangements which allow the govt of the day to determine whether to be in or out. Depending on the election results in Canada, they may be in or out, but that will because the govt of the day decides.

    In the US the Congress will decide. As with the other 11 nations the govt of the day – the Obama administration – wants to be in, but ratification is effectively done by Congress not the executive.

    Presumably most Republicans, but not all will support. Some (but how many) Democrats will support. Hillary coming out against presumably makes it harder for Democrats to support. There are plenty of US based political analysts around who will have a proper sense of this. But if it is in a fine balance, such calculations are often hard to make.

    Would a loss in the US kill TPP, or does it lead to a re-negotiation? Most US politicians tend to support free trade agreements (but not Bernie Sanders), so for many, such as Hillary Clinton, it might just mean that particular points would be re-negotiated.

    • les 5.1

      you dont like Oram as a messenger Wayne,but what about his message…can you respond to the points he makes?

    • dv 5.2

      A reasonably predictable article from Rod Oram. He is consistently critical of just about every economic platform of the current government.

      So where is Oram right and where is he wrong Wayne?

      • Wayne 5.2.1

        My post was not about the merits of TPP. There is nothing I could say that would change the minds of anyone on this site. If you want my specific view, go to Pundit.

        My post was about why there was such a continuing campaign about TPP on The Standard. After all the position of the govt is clear enough and will not be swayed by Rod Oram or any of the other naysayers. The typical Standard campaign also does not reach middle NZ voters (given how consistent the polls have been), so it is not about them.

        I was speculating that this is all about Labour’s position, given the Green position is already known, and has been since TPP was first mooted. The Greens always vote against trade and investment agreements, whether entered into by National or Labour.

        But the Labour position on TPP is not so fixed, at least not yet. And presumably Standardnista’s would also want to see Labour commit to withdraw from TPP.

        • Anne 5.2.1.1

          You see everything in terms of political one up-man-ship don’t you Wayne. To be fair you’re no different from most of your ilk. You talk about a continuing campaign about TPP on The Standard. Does it not occur to you that many people here hold strong and genuine views on the pros and cons of the TPP? They are not “campaigning” as such but simply expressing their thoughts. And it’s a good thing TS provides a platform for them.

          …the position of the govt is clear enough and will not be swayed by Rod Oram or any of the other naysayers.

          Do I detect a hint of sneering and disrespect? I think so. They are highly regarded experts in their field of knowledge – intellectuals dare I say it – so they must be ignored and ridiculed at every opportunity.

          Your supreme arrogance – and that of this government – knows no limit!

          • Wayne 5.2.1.1.1

            Anne,

            I know that many people hold strong and genuine views against TPP, and in many cases from an ideological perspective. And I agree that blogs enable that expression, as I obviously know.

            However, I also think that people also want an outcome of their views, such as a change of position by a political party, especially when people know that a particular party’s position is up for contest. The only party that is having such a debate is Labour. All other parties positions on TPP are known, and will not change.

            • Stuart Munro 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Naturally – Gnats are born stupid and have learned nothing since. They didn’t run up $101billion in debt by paying attention to legitimate criticism – who do we think we are, citizens of a democracy? No, the Gnats mean to rule us and oppress us until we overthrow them, with neither assent nor competence to give them even the flimsiest tissue of legitimacy.

              • Lanthanide

                “They didn’t run up $101billion in debt by paying attention to legitimate criticism”

                Of course not. To paraphrase John Key, you can always find a scientist that will agree with whatever you’re proposing. So why bother paying any attention to criticism?

            • tracey 5.2.1.1.1.2

              But once detail is known you may be surprised who has to change position or lose credibility. From either side.

            • Anne 5.2.1.1.1.3

              There you go again…

              The only party that is having such a debate is Labour. All other parties positions on TPP are known, and will not change.

              Labour dear chap is NOT having a debate. They had it long ago and came to a unanimously agreed position. They are the leading party in the alternative government and it is their responsibility to wait (read carefully) wait to see the precise wording of the agreement which I understand will be in 3 to 4 weeks time.

              The other opposition parties have the luxury of positioning themselves in advance but Labour – as you very well know – does not have that luxury. It does you and your political team no credit that you see fit to play irresponsible political games over an issue that is going to impact profoundly on every man, woman and child in this country.

              • tracey

                It’s the meme that Hooton has been peddling and took mainstream on the weekend. Mapp retired from Parliament, but not from politics or the National Party. Still a Talking Head for them, and the inside tip on the latest PR meme to push

                • Anne

                  It’s the meme that Hooton has been peddling…

                  Yes I know and he wouldn’t back down this morning on RNZ even though his off-sider is a former Labour president and knows a bloody sight more about what goes on in Laboor than he does. Williams told him unequivocally he was talking “absolute nonsense”.

                  Hooton is now claiming the insiders were Labour MPs. If it’s true, you know what I suspect? They played him for a sucker and a giggle.

                  • tracey

                    He is peddling 2 memes

                    1. Labour is divided on TPP; and
                    2. There is a withdrawal clause which goes on ad infinitum and so Labour can withdraw from TPP anytime in the future

                    I think he started with a 6 month withdrawal meme but has now settle don anytime withdrawal meme.

                    Fascinating he hasn’t chosen to focus on what a great deal for the benefit of all NZers it is.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1.4

              …and in many cases from an ideological perspective.

              That would describe you and the rest of the RWNJs in parliament and MFAT and govt departments in general.

              • tracey

                Well, Wayne says he has never seen the agreement, and has never opposed a single FTA, so I guess that rules him in as ideologically driven and therefore unable to be credible on this issue.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Certainly his piece on Pundit is less than edifying – he repeats the positive elements as released by MFAT without any attempt to quantify any downside.

                  I feel his declaration of academic credentials:

                  My LLB (Hons) dissertation was on NAFTA, the precursor to CER. My LLM thesis was on the legal issues of containerization and intermodal transport. My PhD was on state responsibility.

                  Tends to call into question the issuing authority, if he cannot make a better showing of balanced analysis.

                  Unhappily for Wayne too, it is not the clever and receptive Gnats he implicitly claims to personify who are controlling policy at present – the party reeks of rancid whale oil, they have built no houses, created no jobs, enlightened no lives, and blown $101 billion on this total non-performance. But such are their aristocratic pretensions that they believe they should be thanked and respected for this godawful catalogue of failures.

                  They can hold their breath until they turn blue.

                  • tracey

                    To this TPP debate he brought ideological mantras and ad hominems against Kelsey. She, through the Court case evidenced her arguments for publication/release of documents, and you only have to have listened to her (Fabian debate against Mr Mapp) to know she was talking from research and knowledge, she used examples and so forth, he didn’t.

        • Halfcrown 5.2.1.2

          “A reasonably predictable article from Rod Oram. He is consistently critical of just about every economic platform of the current government.”

          And a predictable reponse from someone from the right. The right does not like opposing points of view.
          What I have read about it so far, it is not a trade deal when something like ONLY six clauses are to do with trade out of a total of something like 30.

        • Sacha 5.2.1.3

          Here is Wayne’s article about TPP: http://pundit.co.nz/content/the-tpp-theres-a-lot-to-like

          Do read the comments as well.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.4

          There is nothing I could say that would change the minds of anyone on this site.

          A while ago, I was reluctantly “pro” TPP for reasons roughly similar to Helen Clark’s. I’ve been swayed by Lprent and others, while you were too busy discounting my opinion as “from the left” and therefore unworthy. Own goal, Wayne.

          Lift your game.

    • savenz 5.3

      “A reasonably predictable article from Rod Oram. He is consistently critical of just about every economic platform of the current government”.

      Yes, shows what a good business analyst he is. The government’s current economic strategy of borrowing heavily and selling off the assets while possible funding a cycleway to promote growth and Sky City convention centres as their only economic answers. Cutting funding to scientists and research and under funding in real terms health and education while campaigning for Serco and Charter schools all under performing and known international failures. Bullying and not taking advise from their own ministries. Looking at business opportunities for mental health as ‘social bonds”. Selling state houses to Australia cheap. Polluting our rivers and water ways more and then getting rid of the analysis so they can deny it. Not putting in public transport, foisting a supercity on Auckland that has increased rates, decreased efficiency, meddling in local politics and refusing a petrol tax for Auckland’s to fund public transport, and allowing companies to get so greedy they feel ok to steal Auckland’s harbour as well as the countries seas for oil exploration and forests for any economic exploration or gain. Now selling our sovereignty for magic beans.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      All the other 11 countries have constitutional arrangements which allow the govt of the day to determine whether to be in or out.

      Time to change that so that these types of deals can only be signed after a referendum on them. Time to become a bit more democratic.

      • Manuka AOR 5.4.1

        “Time to change that so that these types of deals can only be signed after a referendum on them. “
        Exactly.

      • AmaKiwi 5.4.2

        +1 Absolutely.

        TPPA will become part of our constitution. We and the next generation should decide whether to join or not.

    • ianmac 5.5

      Poor old Wayne. Not a word to show us how Rod has erred. You are an empty barrel Wayne. Dis-missed!

    • The Chairman 5.6

      Wayne, you asked: “but the real question is; would Labour withdraw from TPP?”

      As Labour are talking about facing the consequences of legislating against the ordinances of the TPP, it indicates they don’t plan to totally withdraw from the deal.

      As you say, opposing the deal means little as Labour’s support isn’t necessary for the deal to pass.

    • tracey 5.7

      And those like you who have NEVER opposed a FTA, should also be dismissed as too partisan to be credible. Using your own “logic”.

    • John Shears 5.8

      From Wayne
      “But the real question is; would Labour withdraw from TPP? There will be withdrawal provisions in the agreement. Before the 2017 election Labour will have to be tested on this point.”

      Can you answer Wayne? I can’t because it is virtually all secret at this stage.

      • dukeofurl 5.8.1

        The withdrawal is a nonsense, in practical terms the downside to ‘leaving’ are so great, the perceptions would be all wrong. Its a reverse to signing up, which has little benefits but getting out has big consequences.

        Is that what the they are reduced to saying is a ‘benefit’, we can leave when we like.

        The TPA is a HOTEL CALIFORNIA deal, no real way to get out in spite of wording ( unknown) that ‘might’ say its possible

        WE would end up being treated like Venezuela

        • AmaKiwi 5.8.1.1

          dukofurl

          “WE would end up being treated like Venezuela”

          Pure b.s.

          Only if we nationalize all foreign owned assets (oil fields, farms, factories, forests, banks, tourist enterprises, etc.)

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.9

      Wayne Mapp, your abusive remarks about anyone who refuses to follow your party’s line bring the Law Commission into disrepute. Is that what you were appointed to do?

      • tracey 5.9.1

        He’s just proving why the appointment of any former Politician to a taxpayer funded institution, let alone one so crucial to society as Law Reform, should be banned. He is entitled to be so partisan, but his rigid and clinging ideoloigcal stances – which is how he describes those who oppose TPP – make it highly unlikely that he can ever view a matter impartially.

        • Wayne 5.9.1.1

          Tracey

          It is true that I am pro-TPP. But I would like to think that I do not personally criticize anyone, apart from noting that they have never supported a FTA.

          Of course there is a broader question as to whether I should post on political blogs at all, except perhaps for my items on Pundit.

          Maybe it is best that I do not.

          As for Law Commission reports, you can judge my role by the reports that I have been leading, one of which will come out later this month.

          • Wayne 5.9.1.1.1

            To add to my comment.

            I have previously said that my future contributions would be confined to TPP.

            The reason being that free trade is a particular professional interest of mine. I taught the subject at University. My LLB (Hons) dissertation was on NAFTA, the precursor to CER. My LLM thesis was on the legal issues of containerization and intermodal transport. My PhD was on state responsibility.

            It is certainly true that I have fully accepted the paradigm of free trade as extolled through GATT, WTO, CER, NAFTA, EU, ASEAN, etc. And I see TPP as following in their footsteps. I am hardly alone in that. So do the governments of 12 Asia Pacific nations.

            But I can see that TPP has become very contentious in New Zealand. And no more so than on this Blog.

            So given that I am no longer formally politically active, and now have another role, I can see the argument that I should not participate in direct political debate, not on politically active blogs.

            To a very large extent I have been reliant on people accepting that I can contribute. But once a number of people raise the issue (as opposed to one or two) then contributing to a blog such as this becomes problematic.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.9.1.1.1.1

              Just lift your bloody game and address the issues: at least when I call people trash I give them clues as to why.

              • tracey

                Plus 1

                Calling Kelsey “hard left” wasn’t meant as a personal attack apparently. Seeking to undermine her position by suggesting cos she had never supported a FTA her work on TPP was lacking credibility…

                self awareness Wayne. Yes, maybe you should just post at the Pundit where you feel safe and less like you need to justify the ideologically driven mantras you write, knowing full well the what you are trying to do.

                I sincerely doubt your ability to be balanced in your work. I have no doubt you think you can. But some of your views are so deeply held and as I said have resulted n playing the woman not the ball, that as an observer of that behaviour I don’t believe you can be balanced in such an important role as Law Commissioner.

                I have said I don’t believe any former politician should hold such a role, from any party.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.9.1.1.2

            I do not personally criticize anyone

            Every single paragraph in your comment at 5 starts with a statement that “so-and-so is…”

            Nothing about the merits of Oram’s arguments whatsoever, nor anyone else’s

            Ad hominem arguments all, to the effect that none of the individuals or groups mentioned can be considered to have credible objections. Insults, or abuse, as I said.

            When people approach the law commission, it’s clear that they’d better not be
            “Standardistas”, or some other non-Party-line-toeing group, eh, since you’ll discount everything they say on that basis, Commissar.

            It’s called a conflict of interest, Wayne. You know better, and if you don’t, you’re unfit for office.

            • Wayne 5.9.1.1.2.1

              I can assure you that both as a local MP and as a Minister I saw many people with a wide range of viewpoints, and I believe I was known as someone who would properly consider their perspective. I am even more aware of that obligation as a Law Commissioner.

              On free trade and investment agreements, it is true that I have had a consistent view, which is well known.

              However, given that this issue has become so political, it is clear that I should desist from commenting further on The Standard, and probably on all other issues on The Standard.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I didn’t realise I touched a nerve that sensitive! How about you eschew ad hominem arguments instead?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                On reflection, how about you just tell me to go screw myself? So what if I’m uncomfortable with your bias? Judges give longer sentences the hungrier they are: I suspect this is a far bigger problem for the judiciary than your inept rhetoric 😉

              • Tracey

                run Wayne run

  6. Pat 6

    I would expect if the US can”t/won’t ratify the whole deal will be shelved…for without the US there is no deal. ….we can hope.

  7. infused 7

    I think it’s 50/50 it will pass in the US. If it doesn’t pass, it will be shelved. I doubt the other countries would make a further agreement.

    • Pat 7.1

      I fear 50/50 may be overstating it…remember it was only a few months ago the “lobbyists” persuaded the house to pass fast track and they will have known the potential for agreement and having agreed the corporates bottom lines must have been achieved….we can hope however there is enough ambivalence with the final agreement that may temper the willingness to increase financial support

      • tracey 7.1.1

        The about-turn on the fast track came about because Democrats and Republicans accepted big donations for their personal re-election. Still time for that to happen again.

        • Pat 7.1.1.1

          “we can hope however there is enough ambivalence with the final agreement that may temper the willingness to increase financial support”

    • tracey 7.2

      that’s a change, just before Maui you were adamant it would not get through at all.

  8. Penny Bright 8

    So – this was the reason behind the recent spate of ad hominem attacks on Professor Jane Kelsey?

    Where are the FACTUAL INACCURACIES in anything Professor Jane Kelsey has said in this article?

    Wayne Mapp?
    Matthew Hooton?
    Anybody?
    _________________________________________________

    National government betrays NZers in TPPA deal

    Tuesday, 6 October 2015, 12:16 pm

    Press Release: Jane Kelsey
    National government betrays NZers in TPPA deal

    ‘This deal is a travesty of democracy’, said Professor Jane Kelsey about the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in Atlanta, USA.

    ‘The government has ignored, insulted and lied to its citizens.’

    ‘Minister Groser has misled New Zealanders. He always knew he was on a hiding to nothing on dairy.

    I have predicted many times that he would not do as he said and walk away from a lousy deal, but would make claim that there were some intangible future gains from being in the club.

    That’s exactly what’s happened’.

    ‘Professor Kelsey urged New Zealanders to ask a simple question: “who gave the Prime Minister and Trade Minister the right to sacrifice our rights to affordable medicine, to regulate foreign investment, to decide our own copyright laws, to set up new SOEs, and whatever else they have agreed to in this secret deal and present it to us as a fait accompli?’’.’

    She points out the last major sticking point was monopoly rights for Big Pharma over life saving medicines, showing the TPPA is anything but a ‘free trade’ deal.

    ‘The compromise language on biologic medicines agreed between the US and Australia is apparently so vague the US can and will insist that its intepretation prevails.

    Giving Big Pharma another three years monopoly over the data, on top of other changes to patents and more leverage over decisions, will undermine the “fundamentals” of Pharmac and blow out the medicines bill.’

    ‘While Australia was fighting US demands on medicines, our government seemed to be lost in action and obsessed with selling more dairy,’ remarked Professor Kelsey.

    ‘Not only is a “dairy for medicines” deal unconscionable – it is a total sellout. That’s even before we factor in the handcuffs on future governments in investment, SOEs, financial services, government procurement, and so much more.’

    ‘I suspect any new dairy access is largely smoke and mirrors, with quotas on carefully selected products and subject to safeguards should increased New Zealand imports impact on America’s domestic agriculture. The problem is we can’t see the details to assess that’.

    Under the US Fast Track law, President Obama needs to give 90 days notice to Congress before he can sign, and release the text 30 days into that period.

    ‘The government is bound to spin the benefits like crazy, knowing that we won’t get to see the real deal for another month. The Minister needs to release the full details immediately.’

    Meanwhile, members of the US Congress and the corporate lobbyists who are ‘cleared advisers’ will get to see the deal. Professor Kelsey predicts ‘they will be all over it, and seeking to remove what they still don’t like and add their demands. That will be the first of many opportunities to rewrite the deal as the US moves into an election year.

    The immediate responses from the US show it will be a dog fight in Congress with almost all the Democrat members opposing the deal and Republicans abandoning Obama in droves.’

    ‘This is far from over yet. There are three months before the TPPA can be signed.

    The government’s “trust us” promises were a sham and New Zealanders have been sold down the river.

    It is time for Opposition parties and ordinary New Zealaanders to force the government to step away, and make it clear to National that failing to do so will carry the ultimate electoral penalty.

  9. vto 9

    1% gain

    in 15 years

    is

    in the reality of business

    worthless

    .

    in fact it is a restricting negative and no business would take on such a burden

  10. ianmac 10

    The bits that I had previously read left me bewildered. Thanks to Rod and Danyl, I can now make sense of the central issues. To me, their items above are very very important. Each item could be contested by those who support TPP and it will be interesting if they do or can, without just denigrating the messengers.
    Daylight is refreshing.

  11. Et Tu Brute 11

    The TPP demands all member nations allow freedom of association, collective bargaining and at a minimum have robust yet basic labour laws with clear paths for complaints in regards to breaches of the above. It also demands that prospective laws go out for consultation to the general public and that governments can’t rule by edict. I’m not sure if China would agree to those terms. We should celebrate instead that the likes of Vietnam did.

    • dukeofurl 11.1

      Where does it say that ?

      • Et Tu Brute 11.1.1

        Chapter 19 deals with the issue of labour. The chapter requires member states to uphold “freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; elimination of forced labour; abolition of child labour and a prohibition on the worst forms of child labour; and elimination of discrimination in employment. They also agree to have laws governing minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health.”

        The chapter also requires processes for labour grievances (such as our personal grievance system).

        Chapter 25 deals with regulatory coherence and Chapter 7 deals with technical barriers to trade. So countries can legislate in the public interests (such as ban sugary drinks) without getting sued, however they have to follow a number of steps – such as public consultation, lead in times and provide full and adequate information to those potentially affected.

        • dukeofurl 11.1.1.1

          The mfat wording is a lot weaker than what you suggest

          “Recognition that labour standards should not be used for protectionist trade purposes”- doesnt sound all that tough to me

          Good luck all for all the normal standards being available in a one party state like Vietnam.

          One other point you have overlooked , is that who benefits from lax labour standards implemented in the first place.

          Why that would be major western brands who have a race to the bottom as they play different countries off each other

          • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1.1.1

            I wonder if ETB is referring to the chapter summary released by the US negotiators…

    • tracey 11.2

      Is that based on a previously leaked clause or something you have gained contrary to confidentiality?

      • Et Tu Brute 11.2.1

        Tracey you can look up Chapters 7, 19 and 25 in any analysis out there and you will find what I just said.

        • tracey 11.2.1.1

          Right, so you are referring to the previously leaking information.

          • Et Tu Brute 11.2.1.1.1

            No I am referring to government papers and other fact sheets. Yes you could go all conspiratorial and say that when multiple TPP governments say the TPP has clauses on x, y and z they are all lying. They might miss something out, but when they say there are clauses requiring freedom of association etc… then I think there are clauses requiring freedom of association.

            New Zealand’s overview of Chapter 19 for example is here: http://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/assets/docs/TPP_factsheet_Labour-and-Environment.pdf

            • tracey 11.2.1.1.1.1

              The Fact Sheets are PR summaries. It is hard to tell what is accurate. For example Groser has put $$ on all the purported benefits, but not the costs. See the IP Fact Sheet for example.

              “Exceptions and limitations have also
              been included. However, the changes required by the
              chapter will still entail some costs for New Zealand.
              These need to be considered against the benefits of the
              agreement as a whole.

              He knows, but won’t say.

              Reading copyright, he knows the figures but chooses the average, rather than the figures for the near future which will be the highest

              “The net cost of extending New Zealand’s copyright
              term from 50 to 70 years will be small to begin with and
              increase gradually over 20 years, reaching a relatively
              constant level after that. Over the very long term,
              including the initial 20-year period, the average annual
              cost is estimated to be around $55 million. “

              • Et Tu Brute

                Yes, but then $$ amounts are rarely the most accurate projections. Are you disputing though that the TPP has these provisions? And if we take your position to the extreme then it would lead to the conclusion that nothing can be known about the agreement and we should remain agnostic until the day the full text is released. What is your position?

                [saw you edited your piece]

                Again, numbers get fudged all the time but positive statements of policy are harder to fudge. ie. freedom of association, minimum wage and work conditions etc… yes some can be defined away but we’re not talking about numbers here.

                [lprent: There is something like an 8 minute edit time on comments. Most regular commentators use it frequently.

                For my 2c worth. I’d point out that general statements of intent are usually meaningless and useless bits of propaganda. After all we have John Key who can describe the massive job making potential of cycleways 6 years ago, and curiously reticent on it now.

                Getting details beyond those that someone like John Key will impart is slightly more precise. The actual legislation / regulation changes are slightly better again.

                But ultimately the application within, or lack of application of, law and regulation is the only way to judge the effective intent of anything. Of course by that time it is so late in the day, that pointing to it and saying cycleways don’t increase employment is somewhat late.

                Most of us tend to not be “agnostic”, but are “skeptical” about the slithery promises of proven liars like John Key. For some reason you appear to so easily satisfied that you appear to qualify for the epitaph of “stupid sucker”. ]

            • tracey 11.2.1.1.1.2

              Interestingly that chapter you refer to is all about “reaffirm”ing existing obligations. The need to reaffirm perhaps suggests that parties, or some countries, are currently not following them?

              “Each Party will reaffirm their obligations as members
              of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The
              Parties also agree to adopt and maintain in their
              laws and practice the internationally recognised
              labour rights stated in the 1998 ILO Declaration
              on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work1
              ,
              including prohibitions on child labour. ”

              That Declaration is all about (see footnote 1 of TPP Fact Sheet)
              “freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, the abolition of child labour and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.”

              “http://www.ilo.org/declaration/lang–en/index.htm

              And yet in our own country since 1998 there has been an eroding of some of those laws, so ther eis obviously a very broad brush to be drawn across these laws.

              • Et Tu Brute

                For New Zealand yes because we are so far ahead of many of the other countries in the deal. Maybe we are reading someone else’s mail?

                • tracey

                  We are already doing what others are now agreeing to do, is that what you mean?

                  • Et Tu Brute

                    Yes. Remember my original comment was not to say the TPP is a good deal or not, it was to explain why the likes of China wouldn’t be a part of it.

                    • tracey

                      I was addressing your comment that what appears in the TPP Fact Sheet you refer to is something “We should celebrate”

                      Notwithstanding it refers to ILO Declaration which we signed in 1997 and yet have been eroding those very things since then. So the celebration is both premature and based on a misunderstanding of both the situation in the labour market in NZ for the last 40 years and the footnote that you are pinning your statements on.

                    • tracey

                      cat got your fingers?

                • tracey

                  NZ has been eroding the freedom of association and rights to collective bargaining for about 40 years, so your suggestion that the TPP strengthens the lot of worker sis rubbish if you are basing it on the section footnote which refers to the ILO.

        • lprent 11.2.1.2

          You mean some largely meaningless bullshit is worth reading? Where is the detail? And the changes to regulation and legislation. Those are worth reading.

  12. Kevin 12

    So in reality, this is not actually a deal about trade, as the meagre proposed benefits are dubious at best. It is a deal about the rules of trade and who really stands to benefit and my guess is it is not Joe Public. This is simply a mechanism to lock-in corporate dominance of OUR economy and reduce the effects of government oversight and it’s ability to legislate in the best interests of the citizens of New Zealand.

    • tc 12.1

      Which is pretty much what nact have been doing since they took office by selling down our asset base, transferring public wealth to private, hobbling SOE’s/R&D/H&S and setting the scene for more sercos via social bonds etc.

      Tax cuts cost the crown over $1b p.a. which goes on the public debt but benefit the top end as one example.

  13. ianmac 13

    Should the Government of the day cancel Serco’s contract then under TPP Serco could sue NZ for millions, not only for the loss of the business but multi millions lost from future earnings. Guess which company will be here for ever?

    And what about those overseas companies who have or will invest in NZ businesses? They go bust, or get burnt down, or taken over by civil unrest, and under TPP NZ will be sued for millions plus the loss of future earnings, and there would be nothing the Government could do about it. No appeal. No rule of NZ Law. Nothing but huge cost to the taxpayer.

    Quebec cancelled the US contract for fracking as it was not in the interests of the people or the land. There were sued for billions by the frackers, who won.

    • tracey 13.1

      It might only require a threat to sue to get clauses removed from a BIll or whatever. This is why OIA and the prompt backing up of it by Ombudsmen is crucial.

      Note Prof Kelsey has been waiting since July for the Ombudsmen to chase up the refusal by Groser to release cost/benefit projections for the TPP

      • ianmac 13.1.1

        Yes Tracey. Andrew Geddis last week pointed out the probability that Governments fear claims against them so will avoid risks. Eg Not taking action to require plain packaging of cigarettes. The chilling effect for some thing that might otherwise be for the good of people.
        See Pundit http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/of-tpps-isdss-and-the-constitution

        • tracey 13.1.1.1

          Thanks for the link. It’s one of the cleverer outcomes because it’s hard to measure. The Bill’s that never get off the ground cos of threats (so other reasons are invented for not bringing it in or pushing it down the line) . Not the Sabin Bill has conveniently disappeared.

        • tracey 13.1.1.2

          Did you read this link posted in the comments of that thread? It suggest a US CHamber of Congress link to Tobacco companies being able to sue under investor Reations clauses

          http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/01/business/international/us-chamber-works-globally-to-fight-antismoking-measures.html?_r=0

          A global treaty, negotiated through the World Health Organization, mandates anti-smoking measures and also seeks to curb the influence of the tobacco industry in policy making. The treaty, which took effect in 2005, has been ratified by 179 countries; holdouts include Cuba, Haiti and the United States.

    • nadis 13.2

      One problem Canada has – and potentially the US – is that states or provinces are making law which may result in a case under the ISDS – but it is the federal government on the hook, not the provinces.

      The Quebec fracking case didn’t cost Canada billions. Lone Pine Resources (ironically a Canadian company in terms of head office, staff, location, area of operation but conveniently incorporated in Delaware) had existing property and exploration rights cancelled by the Qebec govt without compensation. If ISDS didn’t exist they could have takeen Qebec to regualr court in Canada. And they sued for $250 million (not billions), have subsequently gone bankrupt althought rhe case is still in play.

      Between 1995 and 2005 there were 12 cases against Canada under Nafta ISDS provisions, since 2005, 23 cases. So far Canada has lost or settled 6 cases for a total of $170 million, again, not billions.

      Every case that I’m aware is allegedly because existing rights that a company had or believed they had were removed without compensation – same kind of argument as the seabed and foreshore act in NZ. You might argue with the legitimacy of a particular complaint, but they all have the same underlying rationale.

      Theres nothing controversial about the intent of the ISDS – its simply supposed to provide objective protection for companies who invest abroad. The potential problem though – and I don’t know how TPPA addresses it, is the make up of the arbitration panel and the inability of a losing party to appeal. And there has been a case in Canada where the arbitration panel decision conflicts with other treaties which creates a bit of a conundrum. All of a sudden the highest court in the land is the Nafta arbitration panel not the the Canadian supreme court. If the US ever loses a case that results in a conflict with Federal last they’ll just make new law to override the arbitration decision.

  14. tc 14

    Crikey sums it up:
    “Both the TPP and data retention are the product of unaccountable, state-within-state bureaucracies that seek to operate behind closed doors with minimal parliamentary accountability and a fierce resentment of independent scrutiny, with the aim of handing greater power to themselves and their key stakeholders. They see democracy as at best an inconvenience and, more realistically, a threat: both identify the democratisation of communication via the internet as a danger to be fought with the most draconian laws possible.”

    • tracey 14.1

      What amazes me is how some Right supporting folks seem to totally misunderstand the Legal system, how lawyers operate and how Businesses use the legal system to their own ends.

    • tracey 14.2

      What amazes me is how some Right supporting folks seem to totally misunderstand the Legal system, how lawyers operate and how Businesses use the legal system to their own ends.

    • ianmac 14.3

      The detail of TPP may have been written by Corporation Lawyers rather than Tim or his minions. The right to sue has been in legislation for decades but seldom enforced until the 90s. It is in the recent Korean Treaty. TPP is not a product of democratically elected people and nor will its effect be run by our MPs and not by our Court System.
      Scary to say the least!

      • tracey 14.3.1

        I get that Timmy didn’t write it. Can you imagine how much money everyone’s lawyers made from negotiations over 10 years, and even still as we type?

        The thing sis that the parties we have entered FTA’s with to date have no history of wanting to use lawyers to bludgeon countries into submission BUT some of the countries we now are subject to within TPP DO have that history of corporates in their countries using the legal system and the closed shop of the Investor Tribunal to bludgeon their interests over the sovereignty of nations.

  15. tc 15

    Frank Zappa also comes to mind:
    “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

  16. philp 16

    TPP final negotiation agreed by National = BAD, agreed by Labour (had they been govt) = GOOD.
    Time to get your heads out of the sand and support a trade agreement that will be very beneficial to NZ both short term and long term.
    Your shortsightedness is sad and quite frankly frightening and what Little says is worse.

    [lprent: To me it appears that you have your head firmly stuffed up your self-referential arsehole.

    Most of the people (including me) questioning the TPPA would be just as skeptical about any agreement that a Labour government came back with. This isn’t like the Korean FTA signed by National a few years ago, which received little of the skepticism that is one is receiving here.

    Perhaps you’d care to figure out what the differences are rather than being a thickheaded troll. But if you want to be meaningless troll running idiotic lines, which is what you look like, then go and do it elsewhere. We tend to prefer intelligent commenters who can debate rather than dumb fuckwits like you.

    I’d suggest reading what people say rather than plagiarizing someone else’s lines (your comment looks like foolish propaganda designed fro Mike Hosking). Start with our reading our policies on standards of behaviour on this site. ]

    • tracey 16.1

      tree good. fire bad

      Questioning a process that has been deliberately kept secret from the public is not having your head in the sand. Actually the opposite is probably true.

      Don’t be frightened little sparrow Uncle Timmy is skillfully releasing stuff in a selected manner to keep you in your comfort zone.

      When the text is made available and those with the skills can analyse it we will know if your blind faith was justified.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      TPP final negotiation agreed by National = BAD, agreed by Labour (had they been govt) = GOOD.

      Nope. Even if Labour had signed it it would have been bad.

      Time to get your heads out of the sand and support a trade agreement that will be very beneficial to NZ both short term and long term.

      It’s not a trade agreement but an anti-trade agreement and protection for the big multi-national corporations from democracy.

      • philp 16.2.1

        Crap!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 16.2.1.1

          Restraint of trade, such as extending post-mortem copyright to 70 years, for example. Dictating how Pharmac will act in the global market. Dictating how ISPs will act in a global market, while profiting from file-sharing by third parties.

          Yeah, I know, none of that exists on Planet Philp.

    • philp 16.3

      Nice one Lynne your abuse knows no bounds and is typical of you and the left. haha.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.3.1

        Dirty Politics was about the National Party.

        • philp 16.3.1.1

          The Left are Masters of Dirty Politics! Just think of all the nastiness that JK has had to put up with over the years.

          • marty mars 16.3.1.1.1

            “Just think of all the nastiness that JK has had to put up with over the years.”

            lol sob lol – poor wee jk no one remembers his name no more sob

          • Draco T Bastard 16.3.1.1.2

            Nope, that would be National and John Key

            Still an honest man?

            All the nastiness comes from National and their RWNJ supporters – just have to look at what you’ve written here to prove that.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3.1.1.3

            Dirty Politics is a very specific subset of “nastiness” that involves employing the tools of the state against ones political opponents. And academics who threaten your donors’ bottom line. And journalists who ask hard questions.

            You can pretend that members of the public calling John Key names is the same as the GCSB playing partisan politics if you like: it’s your credibility.

  17. DLANZ Disabled Liberation Aotearoa NZ 17

    Great item thanks…its the secrecy and the regulations that worries me
    Disability doctrines of inclusion requires empowerment be based on ‘informed decisions’ and feel that It is the view of Disabled Liberation Aotearoa NZ DLANZ​ that the issue of Sovereignty requires trust in a government that shows integrity. Based on the performance of this Government, there is very little to give if secrecy surrounds the details AND Treaty of Waitangi interests appear to be threatened. DLANZ would encourage those Opposition Parties to notify the other TPP Member States of their intentions so ‘no surprises there

    Regards
    Doug Hay
    Cordinator DLANZ ‘

  18. Smilin 18

    Well if Kim dotcom and Warner Bros are a measure of thinking on intellectual property rights in the TPPA . I say we better be real careful
    who we have on our behalf
    Shades of the Rainbow Warrior

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