Just a couple of days after President Obama told John Key what he wanted to hear on trade, realism has reared up again:
Hopes of hammering out a final deal on the 12-country Trans Pacific Partnership agreement this year appear to be fading, Prime Minister John Key indicated this afternoon….
“But I myself don’t think you’ll get much of either a decision or movement pre the mid-term elections in the United States, and they’re in November.”
That meant the agreement would now “possibly” be finalised in 2015.
“‘But my whole argument around TPP and just generally in terms of trade deals has been that it’s not worth sacrificing the quality of the deal for timing.”
I expect this will be the American pattern for a while. As soon as there are hopes of a deal, the US will point to an obstacle that can only be cleared by everyone else making still further concessions.
For all the rhetoric, other countries are much more desperate for free trade with the US than vice versa. And the US knows it.
Keeping New Zealand inside the TPP is a “nice to have” in the US end-game. (And for the Japanese end-game, too.) The TPPA will survive if New Zealand is absent. Which means the final agreement likely won’t be worth it for us to sign.
lprent: Also see Josie Pagani’s Acronyms and secret handshakes no way to sell a trade deal at Pundit. Surprisingly, we agree for a change.