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TPP teetering on the precipice

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, July 27th, 2016 - 51 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, trade, us politics - Tags: , ,

It’s been obvious for a long time that the TPP could fail as a result of the internal politics of the USA. Trump is rabidly anti-TPP. Clinton seems to weakly and expediently oppose it too, but the sea of anti-TPP placards at her Convention should remind her what a populist issue it is. In theory Obama could still try to get the TPP thorough in the “lame duck” session, but it would be a pretty extraordinary thing to do to Clinton, and the attempt could fail anyway.

For opposing perspective on this, both via Newshub, see:
Kiwi business leaders pin TPP hopes on Obama
The TPP is dead and gone

51 comments on “TPP teetering on the precipice ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Really do wish the Labour and the Greens would come out and decisively declare that they will be removing NZ from the TPP.

    Not expecting it though. Neither of them seem to have the gumption to do what’s best for NZ against what the corporations want.

    • b waghorn 1.1

      Little is on stuff this morning saying if its in when he gets elected it will stay if its not he would like to renegotiate it.
      On ph so its to hard to link to.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Another reason to vote Green. They oppose the TPP, so if in govt with sufficient numbers can pressure Labour to shift left.

        @Draco, I tend to agree on the leaving thing, it would be good to see something decisive on this. I suspect it’s because no-one knows what the implications would be, so they are taking a wait and see position (the Greens at least). Or maybe they do know and have been scared into not taking a stand.

        • b waghorn

          I’m pro trade just not anything the incompetent nats would sign us up to.
          So would be happy if labour got a shot at a redo.
          But I think its a dead duck so there’s no point the left beating each up over something that probably is just going to go away.

          • weka

            TPP isn’t really a free trade deal though. I took the if we aren’t in we’ll renegotiate thing to mean they’d tinker with it. Hard to imagine it could be change sufficiently to address the concerns of the left. Better to start over if the thing doesn’t get ratified if people want an FTA.

            • Leftie

              Andrew Little said he doesn’t see it as a free trade deal in it’s current form either.

              “But the TPPA isn’t just a free trade agreement. It goes way beyond free trade. And it’s necessary to look at the non-trade parts of the deal. Two things that disturb me are, first: the restriction on New Zealand legislating to regulate land sales to non-resident foreigners (Labour’s policy is to require them to build a new house, not buy an existing one, and we would be unable to do this under the TPPA); and secondly the requirement to allow other TPPA countries, their citizens (including corporates) to have a say on changes to many New Zealand laws and regulations. For instance we would have to let Carlos Slim, the wealthy Mexican telecom company owner, vet any regulation of our telecommunications industry.”

              Andrew Little On the TPPA
              <a href="http://www.labour.org.nz/andrew_little_on_the_tppa

          • amirite

            The problem is, Govt is trying to introduce a whole bunch of TPP-friendly bills designed to favour the big corps and screw the little Kiwi, regardless of TPP passing or being rejected by the US.

            • Graeme

              Which need clauses inserted to tie them to TPPA actually being ratified. Opposition need to be onto this.

      • Leftie 1.1.2

        Is this it B Waghorn? Labour open to negotiate a more-acceptable TPP if it fails to pass in US
        Last updated 18:38, July 26 2016

        Labour would welcome the chance to negotiate a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact if it did not get United States approval this year, leader Andrew Little said on Tuesday.

        In a major speech on international affairs in Wellington, Little underscored Labour’s continuing “engagement” and his rejection of “isolationism”, despite the party’s opposition to the TPP in its current form, saying it was proudly a free trade party.

        “Despite our longstanding support of free trade, there have to be some bottom lines when international obligations threaten parts of our sovereignty, undercutting our ability to chart our own course in the world,” he said.

        “In the case of the TPPA, we cannot support the erosion of sovereignty this agreement would entail. New Zealanders must have the right to elect a government that will give them the same protections from global housing speculators that Australians enjoy today. But the TPP would prevent that.”

        He said the 12 country trade agreement, which includes Japan and the US, offered a weak deal on dairy.

        But he said the question could become moot. If the US does not ratify it, it would die – and both Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton were opposed to the TPP.

        “It’s getting too late for President Obama to try to pass it before he leaves office. Congress already defeated him once on trade this year, and something big needs to change before he’ll risk being defeated again,” Little said.

        “If TPP doesn’t progress this year, Labour would welcome the chance to be part of resumed negotiations leading to an agreement that does away with more tariffs, without curtailing the ability of countries to make laws in their own interests.”

        Little also reiterated Labour’s commitment to an independent foreign policy.
        He welcomed the US decision to sent a naval vessel to New Zealand in November, ending a 30 year freeze on such visits since New Zealand adopted its nuclear free policy in the mid 1980s.

        “The next Labour government plans to redouble our efforts towards international agreements that further reduce nuclear stockpiles, as we strive for a world free from the constant threat of nuclear annihilation,” LIttle said.

        “Our spirit of independence also extends to our closest international mate, Australia. If we see wrong being done, we will call them out on it, as we have done over their immigration policy and deportation decisions. Doing so does not detract from our firm and enduring commitment to the highest quality bilateral relationship.”

        Little also criticised those who favoured “the project of a smaller, weaker state for its own sake” which he said had failed.

        “Instead, we need a peaceful global order marked by more active states, who take seriously the responsibility to deliver security to their citizens and an active civil society.”

        He said the state had a vital role to play in ensuring democratic institutions were protected and were responsive to the needs of their citizens “and that the deck does not become stacked in favour of those who are already powerful and privileged”.

        – Stuff

        <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/82500078/labour-open-to-negotiate-a-moreacceptable-tpp-if-it-fails-to-pass-in-us

  2. AmaKiwi 2

    We (you and I, Draco) could make it a major election issue here.

    Is there a significant block of NZ voters who would be alienated by withdrawing from the TPPA?

    I am not aware of any. If there aren’t any, withdrawing from TPPA would be a vote winner for Labour-Greens.

    • weka 2.1

      Do you know what the consequences of leaving would be for NZ? I don’t (although I’ve seen various theories on that). That’s the sticking point politically that would need to be overcome for Labour or the Greens to take a stand. Crosby Textor, Hooton etc would be all over this promoting visions of chaos for NZ if we withdrew. At this stage I don’t see much that that can be combatted with. I tried having this conversation a few times during some of the TPP debates, but not a lot was looked at beyond the whole ‘well be sued to within an inch of our lives’ thing.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        We’re in quite a strong position if we leave now. If the TPP Kangaroo Court took strong action against us for walking out it would prove all the critics of the arrangement correct.

        • weka

          That’s a good point. Pity we can’t leave now though (NACT)

          • Colonial Viper

            Oh I might’ve missed the memo. Did Labour and Little say they were going to leave?

            • weka


              • Colonial Viper

                We can’t leave the TPP now because of a NACT govt; will we leave the TPP because of a LAB/GR/NZF govt?

                • Sorrwerdna

                  LAB/GR/NZF Government??? You’re joking.

                • weka

                  I never said we would leave under a Labour-led govt.

                  My point was that National won’t leave, and by the time we get a change of govt it will be too late if it’s been ratified (irrespective of the possible shifts in L/G/NZF policy). Which was a direct response to your idea that NZ could leave now. Which was an interesting point.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Nope, they’ve still got their highly confusing, wishy-washy stand on the TPP.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.1.2

        Nats shortened the select committee period during the initial TPPA ratification process, and denied a number of submitters their opportunity

        opposition parties could claim democratic oversight of the people on parliament was rorted and restart the drafting of the legislation and call for fresh public input

        or they could just say they intend to invoke the leave clause if elected because it is a bad deal for future generations, ratification takes two years to implement fully anyway

        the real problem is not parliamentary procedure but is that elements of the Labour and Green “tops” actually support the TPPA

        • weka

          “the real problem is not parliamentary procedure but is that elements of the Labour and Green “tops” actually support the TPPA”

          That’s a known fact for Labour, but I think it’s reasonable to ask for some evidence of that for the Greens. Did you have some specific people in mind?

          • Tiger Mountain

            the co leader Mr Shaw; have not seen an unequivocal statement from him, but would be more than happy to be corrected on that as any other Greens I know personally or have made media utterances have been publicly against the TPPA

            • weka

              I don’t have time to look for a link to Shaw’s personal position, but given he fronts so much of the GP stuff on the TPP I think it’s reasonable to assume that he is aligned with their policy. I’ve not seen anything to suggest that he is in favour of the TPP and I have seen him speak against it.

              I think there is a kind of prejudice about Shaw because he’s a suit and because of his background. But if you listen to what he actually says (as opposed to what the RW spin about him), he’s not a RW plant. Have a listen to his maiden speech in parliament or some of the ones to the GP AGMs.

            • Macro

              Having talked to James I can assure all here that he is as opposed to the TPPA as Draco, in fact all Green MPs are opposed to this “deal” which has little to do with trade – but much to do with foreign financial investments.
              Greens are not opposed to trade so long as it is ethical and fair. Trade based on the employment of slave and substandard labour conditions, the dumping of surplus substandard products and the rape of the environment is not trade anyone should condone.

        • weka

          “or they could just say they intend to invoke the leave clause if elected because it is a bad deal for future generations, ratification takes two years to implement fully anyway”

          What are the implications for NZ of using the leave clause?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3

        Do you know what the consequences of leaving would be for NZ?

        Very little. In fact, everything I’ve read indicates that we’d be better off if we left the TPP than by staying in it.

        That’s the sticking point politically that would need to be overcome for Labour or the Greens to take a stand.

        It’s only a sticking point for those that have benefited from the FTAs and believe that all FTAs are good no matter what. Everyone else is actually worse off from the FTAs that we have and understands that FTAs are generally bad.

        At this stage I don’t see much that that can be combatted with.

        The only way is to point out that we don’t need FTAs and that we can put in place a free-trade regime that doesn’t need FTAs or even the WTO. A regime that will actually make all of us better off and not just the few at the top.

        • weka

          I’m not a fan of FTAs, but the context is why the Greens won’t take a stand, and I think there are political realities for them that you and I don’t have to deal with.

          So, when you say very little consequence from leaving, do you think that there would be almost no repercussions from trading partners (TTP or otherwise) after we withdrew? Bearing in mind that the Greens still support an export economy.

          • Draco T Bastard

            NZ is already a massively open economy. Other nations we trade with are also reasonably open. The TPP does nothing to change that and so leaving the TPP will have very little effect upon us. Entering the TPP has negative effects upon us due to the IP provisions and other protections for multinational corporations in it. As far as trade goes there’s no benefit for us joining.

            • weka

              Yes, I agree with all of that. But the question is more about whether trading partners (existing or potential) will penalise us in future other negotiations for leaving the TPP after having signed. I have my doubts about that, but that is the argument that gets made. Plus the investor dispute thing.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    NZ Labour do not exactly make it easy to support them, even on a traditional “lesser evil” or MMP tactical basis

    who does Andrew Little think he is trying to appeal to on the TPPA? it can only be the Rogernomes in his own team that is who

  4. save nz 4

    The TPP is dead and gone – Lets hope!

    • Jones 4.1


    • Leftie 4.2

      Lets hope so SaveNZ.

      In article with link posted @1.1.2
      “But he said the question could become moot. If the US does not ratify it, it would die – and both Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton were opposed to the TPP.

      “It’s getting too late for President Obama to try to pass it before he leaves office. Congress already defeated him once on trade this year, and something big needs to change before he’ll risk being defeated again,” Little said.”

    • kiwi 4.3

      there is a growing movement building in europe and the us away from
      globalism and a return to nationalism and away from multicultralism
      people are begining to see and understand the real reasons for all the continual
      strife and war mongering happening around the world. Trump is riding this wave

  5. Sorrwerdna 5

    Can you all remind me what is fundamentally wrong with the TPP aside from the fact it came from the right.

    • Macro 5.1

      Gezz do try to keep up – have you not heard of ISDS? Kangaroo courts set up by corporate lawyers for the benefit of corporations which can sue governments where individuals can’t. The europeans saw through this scam and ditched it in favour of a more equitable system – but even that is flawed.
      That is only one problem.
      The protection of “intellectual” rights is another which has huge downsides for the benefit of humanity as corporations are left free to gouge billions out of the masses protected by patent laws. Trump and the far right are opposed to the TPPA primarily because they think the protections currently in the “deal” are not long enough FFS! This provision alone has the potential to raise the cost of pharmaceuticals in NZ by billions. Key has said that the cost to NZers will not be affected – what he is saying here is that the $5 or what ever you pay for your prescription medicine will not increase. He does not say that the cost to pharmac will not increase, because it will. The fact is, the substantially increased cost to NZ of these medicines will reduce the range of medicines pharmac can buy, and its ability to purchase new drugs. The cost to the tax payer will certainly increase.
      That’s two major problems – I could list more – but quite frankly its up to you to actually do some investigation for yourself. Read a few of the many articles both here and around the world critical of the TPPA rather than the puff pieces on right wing blogs and find out just what the issues are.

      • Sorrwerdna 5.1.1

        Thanks for that Marco. I like the majority of NZers would prefer to believe the “puff pieces on right wing blogs” than all the other scaremongering sky is falling we are all doomed scenarios that have been put forward.
        Shouldn’t you all be pleased that the US does not want to be part of this agreement -it still leaves the way clear for the remaining countries to be part of it.

        • Macro

          If you had visited Canada in recent years – or the States – or Mexico and have spoken to ordinary folks about the effects of NAFTA on their countries you would understand why they are up in arms about extending this sort of money grubbing nonsense beyond the North American continent.
          Wages in the States have stagnated to such an extent that people are now seeking anyone but the establishment (i.e. Trump if you white and red neck or Brenie – if your white and educated – but still on miserable pay and no job security). Trudeau has said No! to the TPPA and has the backing of his country. Canada has 14 day supply of food now any one time and has suffered hundreds of ISDS claims so they know what the TPPA entails. Mexico is now pretty much a basket case economically as well (why else do they want to travel to the States where conditions are comparatively better… but given time).

        • Macro

          If the states is not part of this “deal” it won’t happen.
          Canada has said “no” and if the States says “no” then there is not enough money in it for the “deal” to proceed – that is actually part of the “deal” – you need to read it to understand what it means.

  6. b waghorn 7

    According to gower ,clinton has killed the tpp

  7. The Lone Haranguer 8

    I dont believe that shes actually against it.

    And I would pick that if she were to become the POTUS, that she wouldnt kill off the deal. Just look at the banker folk she hangs out with – they are for it and they are paying her bills.

    Put simply, internationalists support it and nationalists dont support it. So Hillary, Helen and JKey like it and Trump and Bernie dont like it.

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