TPP: A slight improvement but deservedly still a zombie

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, November 13th, 2017 - 123 comments
Categories: Economy, International, labour - Tags: , , , ,

Over at the Daily Blog, Jane Kelsey summarises  

The bad news is that the Labour government has endorsed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, with the suspension of a limited range of items, at the ministerial and leaders’ meetings in Da Nang, Viet Nam.

The good news is that the meeting failed to conclude the new deal – rebranded the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). There are four outstanding issues. The Canadian government of Trudeau – also elected after the deal was concluded by its predecessor – said it was not going to be rushed into a decision that would have a major impact on its future. Yay, Canada. Why couldn’t the Ardern government do the same?

I agree.

The basic problem that has always existed with the TPP still applies. As far as I’m concerned, it does nothing for NZ except to further enrich some already affluent largely rural rentiers, but it imposes effective direct and indirect costs on to everyone else. So what is this ‘trade’ agreement for? The very few making a profit?

NZ population is one of the most urbanised in the world, and that is where almost all of the employment lies. If you look at the effective incomes including housing costs in places like Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, except for a very small minority, there has been a significiant drop in disposable income by any measure. At the 2013 census in just these 3 urban areas alone were 2,343,900 people in a population of 4,242,048 – more than 55%. The effect of that is spilling out over into the smaller centres as the property values

So in the TPPA, TPPA-11, CPTTP, or whatever name is added to it, where are the opportunities for higher wages for the many in this crock?

That question is not only here in NZ. The same applies across most of the countries in potential agreement.  As far as I can see there are no benefits for the majorities in most countries with this agreement.

Now I’m not exactly anti-trade nor commercially illiterate. Unlike almost all of the parasitical cheerleaders that seem to flood around this undead agreement, my background is completely in private business and almost entirely in exports. The latter is exclusively where I have worked for the last two decades.

I have a MBA from Otago so I can easily read economic ‘analysis’ from the likes of MFAT and NZIER and know it for being indistinguishable from the inadequate trash written by a PR firm. Having to hawk around complete bullshit like that merely diminishes the case that this is an agreement that has anything to do with trade.

In the face of almost all evidence on the last three decades for various projects, for instance the 1990s deregulation of building industry and electricity networks to the Auckland super-city in 2010 (to take just a few examples), similar ‘analysis’ persist in the same delusions.

Even some of the analysis on the 2000’s Chinese FTA was like this. In that case it was fortunately tempered with some actual realistic analysis – even if that mostly identified risky areas.

Over optimistic and hyped analysis seem to assume that any benefits will somehow trickle indirectly down, and that any costs will be just direct ones with few side-effects. Somehow they always seem surprised when the profits are sucked up by the finance interests as interest in capital injections and speculative booms, and the obvious indirect costs come around and cause problems.

So like Jane Kelsey, who I have to say has been doing a splendid job of highlighting potential flaws, I also want some real analysis. As she says…

So, what happens now? There is no timeline for the next meeting of the CPTPP parties. That means there is now time for the new government to conduct in-depth consultations over its proposal to adopt the deal. It also needs to commission the robust analysis that Labour called for in opposition, independent of MFAT and consultants like the NZIER who basically rubber stamped the previous shonky modelling. They need to make sure it uses realistic models that also cover the broader economic implications, especially for jobs and income distribution. If the economics don’t stack up, as Labour said they didn’t with the original TPPA-12, then they have no basis for arguing that the CPTPP should proceed. Their independent review also needs to include non-economic impacts on environment, health, human rights and the Treaty of Waitangi.

But before it does that work to advance a deal they previously refused to ratify, the new government needs to give priority to its proposed full and participatory review of trade policy. All existing and future negotiations must be frozen until that is done.

The whole of the TPP negotiations has been exactly the kind of ad-hoc half-arsed decision making that I abhor. I want real risk analysis, consideration of possible downsides, and a cessation of unreasoned unclear PR driven ‘momentum’ based wankfests like the TPP and the flag referendum that it so resembles.

If someone tries to sell me on a deal that is too good to resist and needing to be closed soon before the opportunity disappears, then I assume someone is running a scam and that shortly my pocket will be lighter.  I want to know why this is a good deal for all parties and where the gotchas are likely to lie.

In the case of the Chinese FTA in the mid-90s. That was what happened as far as I was concerned. That was a far bigger deal than this one for areas across the whole economy and one with a lot more of a risky approach because of the complete unknowns. No-one knew exactly what the impacts of opening up those markets would be to either side. But there were some pretty good risk analysis going on that those who were interested could access.

In this agreement for realistic public analysis, we only have Jane Kelsey and a few others like her. That is a hell of a problem for people across the spectrum because it means that the only effective analysis before the agreement is signed, sealed and delivered comes from people working off fragments. Effectively there will be no informed consent and only some commercial illiterates in parliament and MFAT will even get a look at the full deal before it is imposed upon us.

I had quite a lot of quibbles with the downstream effects of the Chinese FTA. But I was confident that I had a good idea of the risks and benefits, and that it would offer new opportunities to diversify our exports and to enhance and strengthen our economy. It did. However there were side-effects like the excessive intensification of dairying on unsuitable soil and drainage areas, plus the flood of money into the safe speculative investments intensifying an existing housing shortage.

But during the leadup to the CFTA, there simply wasn’t the level of stupid concealment, salesmanship, and the desperate smell of scamming going on. That appears to be a hallmark of the Key government that somehow managed to spill over into the TPP as they expanded it from a normal small trade agreement to the behemoth it is still is now.

The new government, if it is interested in proceeding with something like the TPPA, should at the very least stop hunting for momentum and concentrate on transparency and analysis. Because if you can’t convince me that this agreement is anything other than a scam, then you won’t be able to convince many on the ‘left’.

 

123 comments on “TPP: A slight improvement but deservedly still a zombie”

  1. James 1

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/money/2017/11/kelvin-davis-wrong-on-tpp-jane-kelsey.html

    In the papers she is saying that what the new labour government are saying is just spin. And that Davis is just wrong.

    Why won’t they just pull out if their bottom lines arnt met like they promised.

    • cleangreen 1.1

      For the first time James I have to agree with you!!!!!!

      Jacinda pull out of this (TPP 11 or whatever it’s called now,) as you referred it as a “dog” recently!!!!!

      “If it barks like a dog it is a dog.”

    • weka 1.2

      “Why won’t they just pull out if their bottom lines arnt met like they promised.”

      Is it possible there are things we don’t know about that National bound us into in the deal but which are considered confidential to the agreement and Labour can’t talk about ?

      • tracey 1.2.1

        Hmmmm, given the TPP had not reached sign or even publicly agreed, I cannot see why Labour could not pull out of anything, BUT with consequences. EG they get told to like it or lump it. Key certainly liked to paint us as effectively panting under the table waiting for crumbs cos we were small players

        • weka 1.2.1.1

          yes, I think Labour can pull out. I was meaning there may be things they’re not allowed to talk about that would make more sense of their actions. Because at the moment it doesn’t make sense.

          • Carolyn_Nth 1.2.1.1.1

            Bomber Bradbury has offered an explanation for this. That’s not to say he is correct, but it is an interesting idea – basically as he posted a couple of weeks ago, Labour are just keeping their heads down and waiting for the TPPA to fall over, as BB reckons it surely will.

            The new Government are fully aware that the reactionary rich elite of NZ who are eyeing up any reason to start destabilising the economy would immediately latch onto any definitive anti-TPPA position by Labour as their excuse to start a run on the stock market the way they did to Helen Clark when she tried to implement ‘closing the gaps’.

            Does the new Government want to start a war with those rich elites immediately?

            I don’t think they do.

            And Bradbury posted a similar explanation yesterday.

            The big question then is, will the TPPA-by-any-other-name eventually fall over. It’s not looking like it just yet, and I do think we need to keep the pressure on Labour to allow a full debate on it, with publication of what’s in the deal.

            • weka 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Possibly, and I’ve had similar theories myself, and then I find myself trying to imagine mythical explanations for Labour’s actions and thinking that’s f*cked. If we can’t take our government at face value we’re in trouble. Sick of trying to second guess what the ulterior motives are.

              • If we can’t take our government at face value we’re in trouble.

                Well, the last government proved conclusively that we can’t take any government at face value. We should always be demanding answers and getting to fact those answers.

                • tracey

                  Yes and I certainly intend being as consistent as I can be in my demands on this government. I didn’t like lying from the last lot, and I won’t be accepting it from this lot.

                • weka

                  That proves that National can’t be trusted. It doesn’t follow that all governments can’t function openly and honestly, but I agree we should always be demanding answers. My problem with Labour right now is that we’re having to guess. It’s fucking ridiculous,.

              • tracey

                Yes @ ulterior motive guessing. Bombers theory seems to be that Labour might be lying to us right now, but in the long run we will be pleased.”?They mi

            • Bill 1.2.1.1.1.2

              Look to the framework they are hanging other policies from and it might provide a feel for how valid that idea is.

              If everything hangs from a ne-neo-liberal framework, then I think it’s safe to assume they are happy enough to please the high priests of ne-neo-liberalism.

              • weka

                for me it’s a given that Labour are more or less comfortable with neoliberalism but want to make it fairer or kinder. My take on the whole TPPA thing is they are being hoisted on their own trying to have to both ways petard. I don’t see them as fully committed to death cult neoliberalism otherwise they’d just sign the thing.

                • Bill

                  Seems to me from reading reports and viewing some interviews that if Canada had ‘played ball’ last Friday, it would have been signed off by NZ and the others.

                  edit – see Carolyn_nth’s comment here. NZ Labour had secured what t wanted to secure (if we can believe what they’ve said about the impact of recent legislation on foreign sales)

                  • weka

                    Yes, that’s how I understand it, but I meant that if they were fully committed to the death cult they wouldn’t have been negotiating and would have been happy to sign National’s version.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          Hmmmm, given the TPP had not reached sign or even publicly agreed, I cannot see why Labour could not pull out of anything, BUT with consequences.

          Well, Ecuador was told that there Would Be Consequences if they pulled out of their BITs. So far, no consequences have materialised and they got their sovereignty back.

          Sounds like pulling out really wouldn’t be that big of a deal. After all – we won’t actually be losing anything (can’t lose what we don’t have) and we won’t be getting anything if we sign and we will be losing a large part of our sovereignty.

    • cleangreen 1.3

      James while I watched Kelvin Davis this morning I noticed at the exact time the exquisite Kim Hill asked Kelvin Davis to explain “why did labour in opposition who was formerly against TPP 11 now thumbs up”?

      James; – Did you see at first Kelvin had to ‘swallow’ as I did before he ranted all that bullshit?

      That showed his ‘sympathetic nerves’ were reacting to an answer his brain was signalling that he knew was going to be a lie!!!!

      I studied psychology while working in Canada for a very large corporation and they taught me this halmark sign was a precurser to a lie.

      Kelvin lied for Jacinda.

      • Enough is Enough 1.3.1

        It has taken only three weeks for this new government to clock up a handful of clear lies.

        It is depressing to say the least

      • Matthew Whitehead 1.3.2

        I can’t find the clip you’re referring to atm, but I will say that the kind of highly specific reading of body language you’re citing is generally considered pseudoscience- the best you can get out of reading body language without detailed experience reading that specific individual at the moment is generalized feelings, so Kelvin was probably nervous.

        However, being nervous doesn’t mean you’re lying, he could be nervous because he’s worried about how this issue will play out, or because it’s his first media interview as acting Prime Minister, or whatever.

    • tracey 1.4

      Good question. Answer is that the Centre in NZ has moved significantly to the Right since 1984 and this Labour Government is possibly less left leaning than the Muldoon Government (despite all the idiots calling them Socialists). So even IF you accept Labour is Left of the Centre they are still to the right of the Muldoon national Government in many ways (imo).

      Wayne Mapp is dead right when he said that the ISDS “concession” with Australia announced yesterday by Parker has been in there since 2016. If Wayne had linked to a source it would have been useful instead of choosing to make statements of his view (unsubstantiated).

      Labour on this topic are closely aligned to national, imo, despite their rhetoric in Opposition. After all that is what our main parties do. I recall when Key called WFF communisim by stealth in Opposition but kept it once in power.

      • Labour on this topic are closely aligned to national, imo, despite their rhetoric in Opposition.

        Labour are a capitalist party – just like National. They do better in managing that capitalism but it still fails because it simply doesn’t work.

        But i doubt if Labour MPs will be changing anything soon as they like the hierarchy.

        I recall when Key called WFF communisim by stealth in Opposition but kept it once in power.

        I’m pretty sure that Key, even when in opposition to WFF, realised that it was a massive subsidy to business and never had any intention of removing it.

        • Matthew Whitehead 1.4.1.1

          The reality that a wage subsidy inherently lowers costs for businesses may have had something to do with them deciding to eat the dead rat, but I honestly think it wasn’t their intention to keep WFF until Key took over and went on a rodent binge.

  2. opium 2

    I am very disappointed in Labour over this.Why bother to vote for National lite?

    • weka 2.1

      Because on most other things they’re going in the right direction.

      I’m also disappointed in Labour on this.

      • cleangreen 2.1.1

        weka; – TPP 11 (or whatever it is called now) may also have other tricky provisions you rightly suggest “we dont know what National signed us up to” now may put a stop to many of labour party policies.

        I for one will not allow Jacinda to break her promise made pre-election “to be a government that is fair, warm, kind, inclussive, open, & transparent” !!!!!

        To allow her off the hook here would make an erosion of ‘faith and confidence’ for labour possible!!

        So no deal if she does not ‘publically release’ all the old wording of that “dog” agreement along with all and the new changes please Jacinda.

        This is our future at stake and our right to know!!!

        • tracey 2.1.1.1

          Didn’t you vote NZF? Sorry if you di d not but that is the impression I have. Winston is in the photos too, he is acquiescing and his party was also anti TPP.

          • cleangreen 2.1.1.1.1

            Tracey we voted party-NZF & Labour -candidate, so we have a local labour MP.

            That is illelevant here, what is important is our long term future so signing us up for thirty years is not to be done lightly, as we are selling out our civilisation and country.

            I expect both NZF & Greens will not agree to the TPP 11 (or what is called now)

      • Richard Christie 2.1.2

        I’m also disappointed in Labour on this.

        I’m sorry to say that I completely expected it.

        • tracey 2.1.2.1

          I am not surprised. I want to see actions before I believe Labour has changed significantly from former incarnations. Nash and his ilk and NOT Mickey Savage labourites

  3. DH 3

    I have a lot of respect for Jane Kelsey but I think she’s perhaps being a little harsh on Labour here. I’d like to see us walk away from TPP too but, honestly, was it really an option for Labour?

    These are countries we have good relations with and they’ve all invested heavily in the protracted TPP negotiations. If NZ arbitrarily walked away they would all be, to put it mildly, seriously pissed off. Our relationships with these countries would undoubtedly suffer, I expect we’d end up worse off than before the TPP embroglio began and it could take decades to repair the damage.

    Our international reputation is that we can be trusted and if we were to walk away from TPP IMO we’d risk damaging that reputation. Trust is not easy to win back, is it a price we can afford to pay?

    Further to that the timing couldn’t have been worse for Labour. They’re a brand new Govt still feeling their way and they get landed with a near fait accompli they had no prior involvement in. It was a hospital pass.

    So, yeah, maybe we need to cut them some slack on this one.

    • Molly 3.1

      “…was it really an option for Labour? “
      It is always an option, I’m not sure if it would be a choice of Labour’s. The only presence Labour had that I recall at the Auckland protest’s was on one of the very last when David Parker did a vague, non-commital speech.

      For unpopular measures, this is the best time for Labour to make strong decisions in terms of electability. There are three years before the next election. Media and public don’t seem to have that long of a concentration span.

      “Trust is not easy to win back, is it a price we can afford to pay?”
      When will it be time for the trust of the NZ people to be considered the most valuable?

    • lprent 3.2

      I am cutting them considerable slack. They aren’t exactly responsible for the current state of the negotiation or the widespread distrust of it and its process.

      I’m also saying why there is so much distrust of the process is because there isn’t any real informed analysis on this. What we have instead is bloody useless bullshit PR.

      FFS: I just had a listen to Kelvin Davis being a complete dickhead on the subject.

      Now I rather like Kelvin when I’ve met him, at least as far as my instinctively distrustful nature for anyone who wants to be a politician allows. I’d trust him when he is talking about things he knows about. But that happens to be the education system, being a principal in Northland, and being a politician.

      In my opinion, he currently doesn’t have understanding on the commercial/economic aspects or the downstream implications on society. Eventually he could gain the confidence that I wound up giving to Clark or Cullen, or even the more limited amount that I gave Goff. But that isn’t there yet.

      • DH 3.2.1

        I certainly concede there lprent, I’m open to giving them a fair hearing & now it is up to them to explain their case honestly and openly.

        If Labour were to front up and say “Look, we’d like to pull out of the TPP but we’re just not in a position to do that so we have to make the best we can of it” I’d accept it and leave them to it. I wouldn’t like it but I’d still respect it….

        But they haven’t actually said it so I could just be barking up the wrong tree.

      • tracey 3.2.2

        I would cut them slack except they knew this meeting was scheduled back when they made their 5 bottom lines and when Ardern was firmly against it as it was then.

      • cleangreen 3.2.3

        100% absolutely right.

        We let labour fuckup last week in the first day with no ‘sane brain’ available during the “speakergate shambles” so now in the following next week are we to allow the “hasty non -intellegencia” to rule again!!!!!!!!!

        Not in your Nelle comrades.

        labour “take a breath and rest while” as ‘we the people’ try to sort out the shit we are all in now please!!!!!!!

        “Government for the people by the people” we now need to see or as jacinda said they would be “inclussive” remember?

    • Brigid 3.3

      I, for one, will not ‘cut them some slack’

      Have they declared they are bound by agreements struck by the previous government? No. So why assume they are?

      They campaigned on the need to substantially change particular clauses in the TPP and from what I can see that isn’t what happened in Vietnam.

      • tracey 3.3.1

        I suspect they are banking n TPP not mattering to those whose support they garner to be in Government? By that I mean how many of their 35% saw TPP as a die in the bunker policy? I assume they have done that analysis?

        The issue will be how many NZF were anti TPP enough to hold this against Winston. We already know almost all Green voters are anti TPP. The media and nats will praise them for this, of course, and will that be enough to keep onboard their voters who didn’t want it?

        • cleangreen 3.3.1.1

          Hold a bloody referendum for christ sake eh Tracey.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.2

          The media and nats will praise them for this, of course, and will that be enough to keep onboard their voters who didn’t want it?

          Or the flips side: Will the Nats praising them on signing up to an agreement that the majority don’t want be enough to alienate even more of their own voters?

        • Incognito 3.3.1.3

          The media and nats will praise them for this, of course …

          The Nats will claim credit for the CPTPP, the media will support them in this, as usual, and the public will believe them. Labour just hammered a big nail in its own coffin IMHO.

      • cleangreen 3.3.2

        I agree with Brigid,

        No we are not bound by the last government if we did not sign up to it!!!!!

        Christ what they all thinking so hold your horses and we need our Professor Jane Kelsey to intervene here to give us guidence as she is best qualified to clarify these points.

    • tracey 3.4

      Then they should not have opposed it so adamantly and put 5 markers int he ground because everything you wrote would have been true at the time they did that. Why was it a near fait accompli? It didnt get full agreement this weekend, Canada is saying they are still not fully committed?

      US and to a lesser extent, Canada just did versions of what you say we cannot.

    • Reality 3.5

      DH, good to see someone looking further ahead than one’s nose. We do need to deal with all these countries one way or another. International relations as in local politics is all about the art of the possible, not necessarily what is perfect.

      I have trust in our new PM absolutely that she will do her best for NZ in a way I never felt about John Key. He never looked below the top rung of the ladder, which does not apply to Jacinda. It doesn’t take some people here long to lose their positivity about our new government. Very disappointing.

      • Reality 3.5.1

        In fact I have come to believe some people thrive on being gloomy and negative about most things.

        • cleangreen 3.5.1.1

          Reality;

          We believe TPP is the most important danger nect to climate change as reality what do you say is the most danger, i wonder.

          • Bill 3.5.1.1.1

            All that export orientated trade. What you reckon that does on the emissions front?

            (Maybe that’s what Jacinda meant when she said she’d be tackling AGW ‘head on’…full steam ahead and be damned?)

      • We do need to deal with all these countries one way or another.

        And one way is to remove ourselves from the agreement and discussions. It would be the respectful ting to do to both those other nations and to the populace who don’t actually want the agreement.

        International relations as in local politics is all about the art of the possible, not necessarily what is perfect.

        Which is just a piss poor excuse to sign away our principles and our democracy.

        It doesn’t take some people here long to lose their positivity about our new government. Very disappointing.

        When they’re just continuing on with what National did is it any wonder?

    • I’d like to see us walk away from TPP too but, honestly, was it really an option for Labour?

      Yes it was and is. All they have to do is say that the agreement does not suit NZ at this time and walk away.

      If NZ arbitrarily walked away they would all be, to put it mildly, seriously pissed off.

      I actually doubt it. It may be that they’d be relieved as they’d then be free to do the same thing.

      This whole thing stinks of Well, we’ve come this far so we better finish it rather than cold, calculated actions.

      Our relationships with these countries would undoubtedly suffer, I expect we’d end up worse off than before the TPP embroglio began and it could take decades to repair the damage.

      I don’t think that they would. It would probably increase the respect a number of those nations have for us in many ways.

      And please note: Ecuador was told that relationships would deteriorate and it didn’t happen.

      Our international reputation is that we can be trusted and if we were to walk away from TPP IMO we’d risk damaging that reputation.

      Walking away from an agreement where there really isn’t a hell of a lot of agreement won’t actually damage people’s trust in NZ so long as we’re open about it and why.

      Further to that the timing couldn’t have been worse for Labour. They’re a brand new Govt still feeling their way and they get landed with a near fait accompli they had no prior involvement in.

      That’s true but they knew it was coming and so should have planned for it. In fact, given that it was almost a fait accompli and that they and the populace actually disagreed with it the honest thing for to have done on day one is to say that they would be withdrawing from the agreement.

  4. Great analysis – I was waiting and hoping you’d put your thoughts down.

    • lprent 4.1

      I try when I have time. This one was important enough to cause me to have to take the car rather than cycling to work, and even then I was late.

      The reported ISDS changes are welcome (but I’d like to look at the text). NZ have fully functional court systems that allow ISDS type questions to be pursued. Moreover it comes with appeal facilities and a means of building legal precedence that the existing ISDS mechanisms in things like NAFTA completely lack.

      But the agreement still has a large number of fishhooks even if many of them are ‘suspended’.

      Moreover inside NZ it has absolutely no effective risk analysis been done. It looks surprisingly like MFAT are lemmings rushing to an unquestioned ideological endpoint with no effective public discussion.

      I’m not that secure about rushing over that cliff sight unseen.

      • tracey 4.1.1

        lprent – I posted this in another thread but it throws open the question of exactly what concessions did Labour actually secure on ISDS that didn’t already exist?

        From 2016 ( I know you have doubts about MFAT docs on this, as do I )

        http://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/assets/docs/TPP%20National%20Interest%20Analysis.pdf

        “There are several aspects of ISDS in TPP that are considered to provide sufficient mitigation to balance the advantages and disadvantages of ISDS as acceptable for the New Zealand Government.
        For example:
         There are safeguards, reservations (non-conforming measures) and exceptions that ensure New Zealand retains the ability to regulate for public health, the environment and other important regulatory objectives.
         A specific provision allows the Government to rule out ISDS challenges over tobacco control measures. The Government intends to exercise this provision.
         The investment obligations in TPP have been drafted in a way that would impose a high burden of proof on investors to establish that a TPP government had breached obligations such as ‘expropriation’ or ‘minimum standard of treatment’.
         Limiting the types of monetary awards and damages that can be made against the Government.
         Provisions that mean hearings will be open to the public, and which allow tribunals to accept submissions from experts and the public.
         A number of provisions that allow TPP governments to issue binding interpretations on ISDS tribunals.
         ISDS provisions would not apply between New Zealand and Australia. This means that threequarters of all FDI from TPP countries in New Zealand would not have recourse to ISDS under TPP.
         There are a number of other mitigating features (outlined in detail in this NIA). ”

        Depending on the definition of “provisions” it is good that any ISDS hearing will be public and will accept public submissions. Expensive to appear if not held in NZ. BUT I couldn’t see quickly what “provisions” means in this respect. It suggests some exceptions?

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          That second to last one is what Parker was skiting about just yesterday in terms of there having been substantial “progress”!!! (Except the 75% has become 80%)

          And it was there all along? Quell surprise!

          SDS provisions would not apply between New Zealand and Australia. This means that threequarters of all FDI from TPP countries in New Zealand would not have recourse to ISDS under TPP (2016).

          Thank you for the link Tracey 🙂 (I wonder what other pre-existing stuff they were selling as new?)

          • tracey 4.1.1.1.1

            Exactly. And I just wish that those supporting this and other FTA (Wayne, I am looking at you) would post supporting evidence for their views, cos Wayne has been constantly asked for cost/benefit analysis type info etc and must know about this document.

            Say what you will about Kelsey but she is widely read and deeply informed on this topic. Yes, she focuses on what she sees as negatives, but she provides supporting information. I am constantly disappointed at how unable or unprepared those touting its advantages are and seem to merely repeat what others say.

            This attitude does not serve us well. Instead of name calling Kelsey, show us why she is wrong, use documents etc…

            • Bill 4.1.1.1.1.1

              They can’t show her to be wrong. She isn’t wrong.

              So cutting off her oxygen and running with character assassination it is. (Same for any articulate dissident.)

              Though they sometimes access other media or other platforms. But then, y’know – “fake news” 😉

              And so it goes…

          • Carolyn_Nth 4.1.1.1.2

            This from Jane kelsey on Sept 5 2017:

            Jacinda Adern recently defended Labour’s ‘bloody minded’ opposition to the agreement. But its only firm position is an objection to a single, very specific provision in the entire 30-chapter deal: the right to discriminate against foreign purchasers of residential property in the schedule on investment. Does Labour really intend to agree to the TPPA-11 if that minor matter is changed (as it has been in a leaked copy I have of New Zealand’s proposed schedule to the now-suspended Trade in Services Agreement negotiations)?

        • cleangreen 4.1.1.2

          Brilliance there tracey,

          Caught labour in a lie here.

          Wayne Mapp today 12 noon on Newshub Car radio (I am sure heard him say) the new deal Labour has ‘in principal’ agreed to ” is the same as the one National signed up to in 2016″ so he just confirmed your position here.

        • Jan Rivers 4.1.1.3

          When he was speaking on Radio New Zealand yesterday morning Minister David Parker said that government infrastructure projects would now have to go through the courts now instead of ISDS. He may have been referring to this in the national interest analysis.

          ISDS cases can be taken against Investment Agreements “In relation to a limited range of activities, including [contracts between a commercial international party and the NZ government related to] natural resources that a national authority controls, the supply of services on behalf of the Party for consumption by the general public, and infrastructure projects.”

          He gave an example of an infrastructure case that this category belongs in. If the exclusion is more general ax all investment across natural resources management and services supply it could mean that for example that changes to mining and drilling concessions or water bottling rights would go to law rather than ISDS. If so This is Definitely A Win for the new government.

          I’m unsure what this means in terms of the TPP’s framework’s use in the legal case but presumably the case would still reference the TPP’s provisions as law that overrides NZ law.

      • marty mars 4.1.2

        Yes I agree about rushing off the cliff – I have concerns about the lack of analysis – sure Kelsey is doing it but I think we need more support and more other points of view.

  5. cleangreen 5

    “Further to that the timing couldn’t have been worse for Labour. They’re a brand new Govt still feeling their way and they get landed with a near fait accompli they had no prior involvement in. It was a hospital pass.”

    Yes exactly; Now labour has to be decisive now; – and move to play tough; – threaten to pull out now if …….///// or we will loose everything we still can save.

    Otherwise when we loose everything over the next thirty or so years, we will let our kids and their kids down!! so are you up for this?

    • lprent 5.1

      I’d settle for them just slowing down and actually trying to explain to the rest of us where there are any advantages in this for anyone apart from a very few.

      It isn’t like the audience here are exactly ignorant. Most of them appear to be excessively well educated and highly aware of situational issues.

      But it has been clear for years that this agreement appears to suck on any rational grounds. The question about why it has been persisted on by many governments is a lot less clear. Perhaps they should try to explain it.

      • Grey Area 5.1.1

        +1. The two main responses I have to this zombie deal are anger at us being sold out and puzzlement. Why? I think we know why but it would be good to have the government be more open and transparent as it has pledged to be over this most important issue and explain why it is good for NZ.

        This agreement has always seemed like madness but didn’t Bruce Jesson say “only their purpose is mad”?

        • tracey 5.1.1.1

          This is national’s national Interest Analysis prepared in 2016 (prior to US pulling out)

          http://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/assets/docs/TPP%20National%20Interest%20Analysis.pdf

          • Saarbo 5.1.1.1.1

            Thanks Tracey, that is interesting. So it provides $207m in tariff savings once fully implemented to Japan alone. That is quite a big number!

            I support Labour 100% on this, a nation cant fund a decent public service without increasing exports, selling to itself wont make it wealthier.

            I hear what Jane Kelsey is saying, but it would take a brave government to leave exports on the table, when we as a nation weeed to desperately increase funding of Education, Health, etc.

            Labour have not put a foot wrong since gaining power in my view.

            • KJT 5.1.1.1.1.1

              And Japanese consumers, who are fiercely loyal to their own producers, will suddenly start buying billions in commodities from New Zealand, simply because tariffs are reduced. Yeah right!
              (Maybe that is why National have refused to make , country of origin, labeling compulsory?)

              Commodities which are already pushing against environmental limits with our current exports.

              With the TPPA forever preventing us from nurturing higher value exports, or giving local startup firms, preference.

      • tracey 5.1.2

        Ardern has said it will go to Select Committee ad there will be public submissions. Most importantly she will need to articulate exactly what concessions Parker and his troops got that were not already there. Only those differences will mitigate their 5 bottom lines promises.

        • Grey Area 5.1.2.1

          Thanks Tracey.

        • lprent 5.1.2.2

          Ardern has said it will go to Select Committee ad there will be public submissions.

          The problem is that the only thing that needs to go to select committee are new law and changes to local laws. I can’t see any legislation in here that needs changing or adding to conform to this new version of TPP. For instance, assuming that the ISDS needs to go through the local courts, I can’t see anything that needs to change

          Furthermore the select committee rules usually preclude raising matters wildly outside of the legislation under consideration. So unless we get a bill going through welcoming the CPTPP that the government has already signed for us we aren’t likely to get any relevant context.

          The only select committee that has a mandate by convention is the foreign affairs one. Who also have a maximum of about a mere 20 working days with which to look at it, including the time to present the agreement to the public, call for submissions, have them presented… etc

          In short, without some detail on exactly what is proposed and what effect it would have on the processes of the Executive council who commits us to the agreement, it is a meaningless sop to stupidity.

          This is what I mean when I describe things as being meaningless PR. They sound good but have no substantive effect apart from pissing me and others off.

      • cleangreen 5.1.3

        Yes slow down Labour let the people speak as you promised a voice pre-election and again post election withyour Auckland town hall speech?

        Let us into the tent (as maori had in 1840) to add our position before a referendum or common place meeting please.

      • Ad 5.1.4

        Agree.

        Publish all the MFAT analyses, especially the national impact assessments.

        I am pretty happy with both the negotiating performance of Parker and his frankness to the media on CPTPP so far.

        I am also looking forward to seeing how the results for New Zealand will be measured, tracked, and made public.

        • tracey 5.1.4.1

          How do you feel about him implying Labour had negotiated the ISDS concession with Australia?

      • The question about why it has been persisted on by many governments is a lot less clear. Perhaps they should try to explain it.

        That would be nice but I suspect it comes down to this is what the corporations want.

  6. Bill 6

    Jane Kelsey writes – the new government needs to give priority to its proposed full and participatory review of trade policy.

    That’s the nub of it.

    And given that trade policy has been wholly informed by a slavish adherence to Liberal ideology these past decades, it would only be a government that was seeking to remain – I’ll say – “religiously committed” to that ideology that wouldn’t review trade policy.

    So I don’t expect any review of trade policy.

    Consider the commitment to so-called (and ideologically driven) “fiscal responsibility” and (it appears) relying on a similarly ideological ‘trickle down’ effect in the housing market, where the ratio of new build houses for sale to new build houses for rent stands at 10:1 – even though the housing crisis obviously rests most heavily on the rental sector…

    Arguably, NZ had the opportunity to unburden itself from this toxic 19thC ideology a while back (Cunliffe), but passed it by. Some might say the opportunity re-presented itself in the shape of Metiria Turei placing a “poverty bomb” at the heart of matters. That ended well too.

    So get used to people being gouged by interest payments for vehicles they’ve purchased on HP ‘deals’ because they’re that desperate to have somewhere to live (the more fortunate of the homeless).

    And get used to people, lying and cheating for the sake of just a few extra (but desperately needed) dollars on welfare going to jail.

    Our political class has seen fit that we wade through this slough of 19thC Liberalism. C’est la vie. Welcome to the foreseeable future then.

    And to all those who voted NZ Labour? Well done. Thank you, thank you. Thank you all.

    • adam 6.1

      It would seem to be that many of the devotes of this neoteric Liberalism, the TTP is the glue holding their ideological wet dreams together.

      And like anyone who questions the dominant ideology, the abuse and name calling for opposing the TTP is quite loud and persistent.

      • tracey 6.1.1

        YES! Unfortunately the revelation that Parker was being mischievous when suggesting Labour had got the Australia concession over the weekend has triggered my pet peeve when it comes to Kelsey.

        When she speaks it is from a deep understanding of the text (which is amazing when you consider she has less access to it than many of its strongest proponents) and uses documents and other evidence to back her views. In return she doesn’t get point and counter point with supporting evidence she gets name calling. By all means disagree with her but do it with intelligence and knowledge.

      • marty mars 6.1.2

        Lol most abuse if for the suppoŕters of the tppa not the other way round, at least on here and in the activist left circles I hang in.

        • tracey 6.1.2.1

          But not in MSM.

          • marty mars 6.1.2.1.1

            I never give the msm much attention.

            • tracey 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Good for you marty but that is the basis for most folks views/beliefs about our politics, not thestandard or kiwiblog.

              • Most folks aren’t going to have any influence in getting more transparency around this agreement or having any influence at all imo. The trade area is policy wonk and hardcore entrenched belief system driven. The msm on these things generally tells people what happened and then offers justifications for what has just happened and this is already underway in my reading of their articles and lines.

                • tracey

                  I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment. Just worried for those who thought Labour might be different 😉

                  • Perspective is a funny thing – I love optical illusions where what people see isn’t actually what people see but the brain interpreting what they see, have seen before, and expect to see in the future. Politics is similar imo.

                    • McFlock

                      Yep. Not just what they’ve seen before, but what they’ve concentrated hard on, so even if they haven’t seen it the pattern matching in the brain flips things around.

                      A non-political example being that if someone dies, there’s often that moment in the street where some random passer-by looks like the deceased person. Just because you’ve been thinking about that person a lot.

                • weka

                  “Most folks aren’t going to have any influence in getting more transparency around this agreement or having any influence at all imo.”

                  Hmm, this suggests that if there had been no protest movement in the past years against the TPPA, then Labour would be doing what they are doing now based on their own values. I’m not sure I agree with that.

                  • No, the next sentence describes imo how ‘trade’ and their agreements are deep rooted in the progress philosophy and therefore hard to move – or at least that’s what I was trying to say.

                    I think protests are essential and the benefits of protests are wider than the issue being protested.

      • cleangreen 6.1.3

        Thanks Adam,

        Those who abuse us for speaking up are degrading our founding democracy.

      • Bill 6.1.4

        Thinking more “necrotic neoteric liberalism” – or ne-neo-liberalism by way of a suitably descriptive (stammering death bed) abbreviation 🙂

  7. McFlock 7

    ISTR that the projections for the TPPA were something like being worth a billion dollars a year to us in 20 years time – i.e. a negligible benefit for all the effort, and quite large possible liabilities (e.g. an INCIS-style debacle or tobacco industry court case). And yes, a billion dollars in 20 years time is negligible, both as a proportion of gdp and frankly along the margin for error with projections that far ahead.

    With the new suspensions, it seems it might, big might, actually be worthwhile. But as you point out, without decent analyses we won’t know.

    On the plus side, at least Labour seem to have gained a better (for a given value of “better”) deal than national did.

    • cleangreen 7.1

      100% McFlock bang on there.

    • Watch out mate that is getting close to liking the deal and that is a big no no. ☺

      I hate the tppa and what it stands for and if they put it in I can deal with that because there are bigger more important issues for me like inequality, poverty and climate change. The first ww3 tsunami will null and void any puny trade agreement imo.

      • greywarshark 7.2.1

        Is there a clause that says that any country hit with a large natural disaster, is free from any further legal challenges and will be relieved o paying any legal costs?

        Because I can imagine the legal suits taking a lien over what is left of NZ after The Big One/Two hit us, and coming over with an army of assessors to work out the depreciated value of everything left and us still owing at the end of it. Then we would be reduced to the age-old line of the desperately poor, ‘I have very nice girl here, young, or boy, plenty of fun’.

        • marty mars 7.2.1.1

          Dunno. Perhaps the corporates could sue mother nature/earth or humanity as a whole, to get any money they lose from climate change effect mitigation.

    • tracey 7.3

      Really? Can you be specific? Cos I did some googling and found that most (if not all cos I haven’t done the detailed analysis on all Parker said) were already in there from 2016?

      Also, the analysis you refer to were pre US pulling out, so need to be redone to take account how their departure changes cost/benefit?

      • McFlock 7.3.1

        Well, the yanks were behind the worst aspects of it, so I figured they were a net loss lol.

        As for the suspensions, I got the impression some negotiation had taken place just before APEC this year. Or did we just rubberstamp what the nats had already agreed to? I believe the nats did the no-ISDS side deal (they should have plugged that more, IMO).

        • Bill 7.3.1.1

          Somewhere on youtube (I had a quick search but can’t see it again) there’s a lecture given on the ‘General Equilibrium Models’ as they apply to TTIP. The guy stripped out some of the more more ludicrous assumptions inherent to the models and presented the results. In the case of TTIP, the US might just about have tread water while Europe tanked. (Is that comparative advantage?)

          Anyway. Bottom line, it’s all a corporate power grab and economists in favour of these deals are bent on, as one source termed it, “managing fictional expectations”.

          NZ Labour has no more excuses than those who burnt heretics because they genuinely “believed” – ie, they have no excuse.

          • McFlock 7.3.1.1.1

            Actually, with the agreement the US were involved in, I tend to agree.

            Most of the other parties involved seemed to be more interested in a conventional trade deal, rather than rewriting other countries’ laws.

            Now the US is out of it and most of their conditions have been suspended (and won’t be reactivated without renegotiation), it might possibly be a good agreement.

          • boggis the cat 7.3.1.1.2

            What these agreements seem to really be is a Trojan horse to lock in corporate profits and tax avoidance. This is easy enough to figure out if you look at who is pushing for them, and the obsession with keeping the details away from independent scrutiny.

        • tracey 7.3.1.2

          But I seem to recall some suggestion that it was breaking into Japan and USA (getting them to lower their tarrifs etc) that was a BIG reason for us wanting in.

          • McFlock 7.3.1.2.1

            Japan yes, but the usa was also the source of the most costly conditions.

            A FTA with the USA is always the tory trade wet dream – not only do they have visions of vast wealth, but it would tie us closer to the yanks. But it’s never going to happen – Wisconsin will oppose dairy, every state offering tax breaks for movie production will oppose liberalisation in that area, etc. Too many competing interests.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.2.2

            On agriculture.

            We need to decrease our farming as it’s having a massively detrimental effect upon our environment.

            Which tends to make me think that being able to export more primary products isn’t really any good.

            How about we build up our R&D and export some real high quality stuff that pays better and doesn’t damage the environment.

            • boggis the cat 7.3.1.2.2.1

              We need to decrease our farming as it’s having a massively detrimental effect upon our environment.

              We should certainly look at better approaches than rushing to capitalise on whatever the latest ‘get rich quick’ scheme in the farming sector is. Turning half the available land into paddocks to shove cows onto, damn the consequences, was always a daft idea.

              There is a lot of agricultural research and expertise here that isn’t being used because of this short-sighted mentality. If we were smart we’d be producing a broad range of agricultural products for domestic consumption and export into the more lucrative markets. Commodity markets have no long term potential for a country our size, and we’ve seriously screwed the place over chasing the commodity dairy market.

              Time to wise up.

  8. OnceWasTim 8

    “The whole of the TPP negotiations has been exactly the kind of ad-hoc half-arsed decision making that I abhor. I want real risk analysis, consideration of possible downsides, and a cessation of unreasoned unclear PR driven ‘momentum’ based wankfests like the TPP and the flag referendum that it so resembles.”

    Not a bad summary @lprent of the self-entitled WASP wankers that have been allowed to drop their sperm/pollen and infest our public service – especially over the past decade or so …. but “Labour did it too” at various times in the past.
    (I think Labour are busy with ‘learnings’ though, that’ll either see them utterly irrelevant, or reinvigorated, and in NZ, they do have the benefit of an MMP environment)
    My suspicions are that Ms. JA is aware of it, and Winnie is certainly aware of it.
    The whole thing has been allowed to fester for so long that it has become an institutionalised culture.
    Just a couple of hours ago, a mate of mine sent me pics of a very worried looking SSC commissioner(yep – probably lower-case c is appropriate) and guest. He looks as though he’d just swallowed the most bitter of lemons, and probably knows a growing number are starting to realise the Emperor’s clothes are looking a lot like a skimpy see thru’ niggled-e-jay that Kath or Kim would wear. (I’m betting Mr. Iain probably wasn’t even aware of someone’s photographic study – of an individual who looks like he’s just had to swallow a pile of his own shit that he previously thought was a filet mignon with a innovative and redolent sauce comprised of ….)

    The TPP is total shite. It seems to me that both sides are busy smelling the fear and learning their next spin lines. (By the way – for the spin meisters – such as Matty H, this morning’s effort wasn’t a good look. She gave you a hint – i.e. not to make it all about Prof. Kelsey, but you couldn’t give it up – which leads me to believe you’re either still under the influence, or that you’re ekshully a bit fik).

    Let’s not pretend that our parliamentarians aren’t aware the bullshit and spin, or that before they criticise, they need to check their own shortcomings before they throw the stones at the glasshouse.
    But let’s also be assured that the current coalition government has the moral high-ground, the mandate (in an MMP environment),, and the ability to progressively move forward.
    James James – hold the ladder steady! Paula Paula, check the ladders and the prescription, Soimun Soimun – check your ego, Chris Chris – check the walkway down to that sewer outlet in Wellington.

  9. weka 9

    Someone has probably already covered this, but just in case not,

    PublicGood-ANZ‏ @PublicGoodANZ

    So the removal of ISDS cases between NZ & Australia announced as a new initiative was actually part of the analysis in Jan 2016 https://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/assets/docs/TPP%20National%20Interest%20Analysis.pdf … page 16 #TPP11 #spin #credibility

    https://twitter.com/PublicGoodANZ/status/929852667203018753

    I haven’t checked the PDF.

    • tracey 9.1

      100% correct and I posted tge link to the proof a few times in discussions on different TPP threads here.

  10. Sparky 10

    Yes this mostly sums up my assessment of this pickled turd of an agreement. That said, I suspect Labour will push it through and I’d speculate based on this decision they are going to have a hell of a hard time labeling themselves as anything other than UK style 1990’s “new Labour” from that point on.

    Maybe this might work fro them but I’d guess probably not. There’s real anger around this so called deal. People have had to put up with over 30 years of this neo lib shit and many have really suffered.

    They should keep in mind too they did not really do that well this election and its only because of coalition partners they even scraped into office. If they ignore the wishes of those voters they may find they pressure their parties to steer clear of forming this kind of coalition with Labour in future.

    In any case the CPTPP is folly and its the long suffering public who will quite literally pay the price.

  11. bwaghorn 11

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11943572

    all thing tpp plus this post gets a mention and a link

  12. cleangreen 12

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/11/nz-first-support-for-tpp-not-guaranteed.html

    Interesting NZF may jump ship also on TPP (or what else it is called for now)

    • tracey 12.1

      Interesting in light of some analysis suggesting they have less leeway cos they sit in Cabinet

      • cleangreen 12.1.1

        Tracey,
        It was an agreement in the coalition agreeement to “agree to differ” (my words) I heard it on RNZ news yesterday.

        So for labour it is a ‘coalition’ risk they face over TPP 11 (or whatever it is called for now)

        This morning Bull English was chirping “we will support labour with their version of TPP 11.

        This was predictable, but strange as National have not seen the final ‘legal text’ of the final agreement (to be signed yet)

        Only a fool agree’s to anything they have not seen so we cannot trust national at all period.

  13. Peter 13

    Sad, reading all these posts. With “friends” from the left determined to undermine this fledgling Government, Jacinda doesn’t need any enemies. Just like in the past, the left will self immolate and let the Tories back in to Government in 2020.

    IMHO, Jacinda and her team had no choice. Opt out and be irrelevant in world export markets or do her best to get some concessions, which she did. The first would have probably wrecked New Zealand’s export prospects for a generation, the second gives us a chance.

    • KJT 13.1

      Unless the “left” is actually “left”. What’s the point?

      How about looking at countries that want to trade with us. Russia, Brexit Britain for example?

      Not those where we have to give them the family silver before they will sign an agreement.

      They will, as before, trade with us if it suits them.

    • weka 13.2

      “Opt out and be irrelevant in world export markets”

      But the TPPA doesn’t cover all export markets, nor does no signing mean we can’t have other trade deals with though countries.

    • boggis the cat 13.3

      Opt out and be irrelevant in world export markets

      Yeah… What is the point of the WTO, again?

  14. boggis the cat 14

    Why doesn’t government get a second opinion on such things from academics?

    They are also experts, and also paid from the public purse (at least in most cases). I am always suspicious of any policy that is only agreed to by corporations — especially if they’re monopolists and/or multinationals — and rubber stamped by the civil service with no details available. The TPPA is a particularly egregious example of secrecy and lack of accountability that reeks of corruption.

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