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TPP – with a whimper

Written By: - Date published: 12:41 pm, August 12th, 2016 - 166 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, class war, Globalisation, trade - Tags: , , ,

Plenty of folk today pronouncing the death of the TPP:
Clinton says she’ll kill trade deal she helped Obama negotiate

“I oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election, and I’ll oppose it as president,” she said, detailing her economic plans in a speech in Michigan.

Hillary Clinton: I Oppose TPP Now, I’ll Oppose It as President
Clinton promises to kill the TPP
The TPP is dead

It’s pretty definitive – hard to back down from. I’ll hold off from calling it 100% dead until we’re through the last of Obama’s term and at least 1 year of Clinton, but it does at this point seem to be 99% gone.

This is a victory for activism. For the people or oraganised and protested and made the downsides of the TPP – especially its impact on local jobs – a political issue that could no longer be ignored (in America at least).

No doubt there will be further treaties of this kind proposed. Free trade is a good thing, but it must be balanced with local considerations (and not just a tool for American corporations). Let’s hope the next version, whatever and whenever it is, avoids the many mistakes of the TPP.

166 comments on “TPP – with a whimper ”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    I hate to say it but we have to thank Trump for this.

    Hillary was a key advocate for TPP when she was Secretary of State. Trump’s strong opposition to the TPPA has backed Hillary into this corner.

    • r0b 1.1

      Yeah, ironic isn’t it!

      • dukeofurl 1.1.1

        As Secretary of State she was Obamas employee, and under their system she supported his policies or she quit.
        I dont know whether she opposed the deal in private but was obliged to support it in public.
        Remember as well, the deal wasnt signed off till this year and she wouldnt have been privy to the negotiation details up to the time she quit the cabinet in 2012.

        As for Trump forcing her turn around ?
        Back in october 2015 she wasnt sounding that keen when Trump was nowhere

        Hillary Clinton comes out against TPP trade deal [Oct 2015]

        “As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it,” Clinton said, later adding, “I don’t believe it’s going to meet the high bar I have set.””

        reminder , thats was October 2015

    • Actually I’d give the credit to Sanders. If she could have got through to the general without veering populist enough to ditch the TPP I’m pretty sure she would have preferred to, and now she has to follow through if it’s in her hands because otherwise she looks even less trustworthy than people already believe she is.

      • dukeofurl 1.2.1

        Check the references, Clinton was opposed well before Sanders was a force.

        Clinton had a lot of union support as well, which helped confirm her opposition

        • No, I’d check your own references. Even politifact, (which is very friendly to Clinton) notes that she wasn’t against TPP until during the primary campaign: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/oct/08/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-now-opposes-trans-pacific-partners/

          Her position was (likely intentionally) vague at the start of her current campaign and she only came out against TPP after it was clear that the public broadly opposed the deal. And she’s still only against it “in its current form,” whatever that means. (and we don’t know because she doesn’t clarify what it is she no longer likes about the deal, just that it doesn’t “meet [her] high standards”) IIRC she switched positions not long before the first primary debate, and the debates were when she started rebranding as a “progressive who gets things done,” rather than an establishment candidate who believes in triangulation.

      • Ian 1.2.2

        100% Matthew Whitehead

    • mosa 1.3

      And not forgetting Enough that Bernie campaigned hard against it so pressure from all sides, what a shame we couldnt be as fortright !

  2. roy cartland 2

    Would it were so.

    She opposes it in its current form. Which means once it’s ameded and made worse for citizens and better for business, anything is possible.

    • Geoff Lye 2.1

      Thats the worry what form will it be regurgitated as.

    • Pasupial 2.2

      I noticed that too:

      “The answer is to finally make trade work for us, not against us.

      “So my message to every worker in Michigan and across America is this: I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”…

      Ms Clinton had also previously supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was signed by former President Bill Clinton, her husband, and which Trump routinely disparages as bad for American jobs. Ms Clinton now says she would renegotiate it.

      from the Newshub; Clinton promises to kill the TPP, link in OP.

      A revised agreement called something like; PAFTA, or perhaps just a revamped TISA might be more favourable to USAn interests (though not so good for Aotearoa). And actually have a chance to make it through Congress.

      But; yes, it is certainly a time for a pat on the back for those many citizens who actively opposed the TPPA. However, it is also a time for renewed vigilance.

      • Michelle 2.2.1

        Pity our pm doesn’t think like this oh that’s right he doesn’t think at all. When they change the TPPA to suit businesses NZ should show some guts and kick it to the kerb along with our PM. If Hilary can see this agreement is not good for American workers how come our PM cant see this.

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      If it’s amended, whoever the NZ government is at the time will have to decide whether to continue with the new version or not.

      Hopefully that will be a Labour-led government.

      • mosa 2.3.1

        Lanth that should give Labour a god given opportunity to show where it stands on these anti sovereign-worker agreements without having been locked in already when at some point they govern again in this country.
        I hope they have learned from the TPPA experiment and have some bottom lines before signing up to future agreements.
        Kiwis long term will thank them for it.

    • Bill 2.4

      All she’s essentially saying is that the US hasn’t been unreasonable or brutal enough in free trade negotiations, nor unreasonable and brutal enough in smashing up any form of protection others may try to erect around their economy.

      She is absolutely not saying that she’s suddenly ‘seen the light’ and is against free trade and/or the imposition of free trade agreements/arrangements.

      • dukeofurl 2.4.1

        Thats a false claim. Unsupprted by any evidence at all.
        This is what she DID say back in October 2015 – before Trump, before Sanders

        “Clinton said that she’s worried “about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement” and that “pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more benefits and patients fewer.”

        • Bill

          I just listened to the vid link with a critical ear. Nothing false about it at all.

          • dukeofurl

            is that a high-faluting way of saying ‘I heard what I wanted to hear’

            Others are less kind and might call it ‘mansplaining’

            • Bill

              But those others would have to less kind and more of a vacuous brained wanker than you exhibit yourself to be with that comment…and I doubt there’s many people who’d fit the bill.

              If you’re going to hurl insults (not recommended btw) then learn the fucking etymology of phrases or words that you’re going to use before you use them.

              • dukeofurl

                That little fulminations broke all the policy rules, not that its stopped you before.
                Get used to being called out for your falsehoods and confabulations and mansplaining to your repertoire.

                A Man telling a women what she says really means, even though she is the more qualified or expert.
                I hope you dont try that with your students.

    • dukeofurl 2.5

      cant be amended now.
      The Trade deal can only be accepted as or rejected entirely under the laws for these sort of deals.

      • ianmac 2.5.1

        Not what the USA think dikeofurl. They have been lobbying countries to accept amendments. If you are big and tough you can do that. Huh!

        • dukeofurl

          You are dreaming. The text cant be changed by Congress. I heard about the side letters and such , but thats not the text

      • Sacha 2.5.2

        Please read Kelsey on how the US insists on their agenda being implemented in any trade agreement process *after* the signing, including via ‘side letters’.

        • Macro

          ^^^ THIS
          Canada has been royally shafted by the NAFTA over the past few years as have the working people of the States. These “deals” are disastrous to all save the elite.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    I wonder if we can roll back to the deal as it was before the US and Japan blundered onto the scene, and continue negotiations with the other pacific countries.

  4. whateva next? 4

    Shame we can’t claim back all the money wasted on promoting and discussing it, along with all the other money squandered by National on dud projects.
    Can’t help pondering on how much we could do for “everyday” “mums and dads” “average” NZers if we had good economic governance in NZ.
    Still, what to expect when we instead elect of this bunch of swankey, golf playing money trader “businessmen”.

  5. Bill 5

    Free trade is a good thing…

    Is it?

    I’ve sat for a wee while trying to think of a single free trade scenario that could be categorised as good. I mean, when we say ‘free trade’, we’re not talking about an opposite to some denial of the right to trade. We’re talking about a very specific framework that ensures the stronger trading partner always benefits while weaker trading partner always suffers disadvantage.

    The only time free trade could possibly work is when each trading partner has a unique capacity that can never be replicated by any other trading partner. This was the basic argument used for structural adjustment programmes that were imposed on developing countries through-out the 80s and 90s.

    Ghana could grow coffee and Finland could make phones and everyone would trade and everyone would benefit. But then Cote d’Ivoire began growing coffee and Japan thought it could emulate Finland and pretty soon everyone was doing what everyone else was doing and a great rush to the bottom (in terms of wages and conditions) ensued.

    Go further back in time and free trade was demanded by the British rather than the US, because Britain was the strongest trading nation. So (as pointed out on Open Mike) Indian weavers had their thumbs cut off to ensure the cotton India produced was exported to Britain to be made into finished goods. And rice was replaced with poppies because the British demands around free trade (this time backed by gun ships) allowed opium profits to flow from China. And if Indians starved as a result – and they did – well hey…free trade is good.

    I don’t think free trade has ever been a good thing and never can be a good thing. It’s a license for the stronger or better positioned to screw over the weaker or less well positioned – always.

    • maninthemiddle 5.1

      Trade liberalism is largely responsible for liberating previously poor nations, and for providing countries such as NZ with a wide range of affordable goods and services. Trade has dramatically reduced the cost of goods and services to NZ’ers, has opened up a raft of new job opportunities, and given NZ a standard of living considerably higher than we enjoyed 20-30 years ago.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        That would be “liberalising” poor nations, not “liberating”. And what did that do?

        Oh yeah, it impoverished them and locked them into disastrous paths of development. And sure, as everyone raced to the bottom, NZers got cheaper, shoddier goods to go with their lower wages and lower job security.

        I guess you could say that “opened a raft of new job opportunities”, but I wouldn’t. And as for the higher standard of living, well I guess that depends how you want to measure that. I mean, you might say that things are better because homeless people can sleep in cars that are generally more comfortable than the cars of 30 years ago. Bit of a stretch to suggest, as you do, that such a state of affairs is being “enjoyed” though – don’t you think?

        • maninthemiddle

          “Oh yeah, it impoverished them…”

          Nope. http://fusion.net/story/306404/global-poverty-rates-plummeting/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=fivethirtyeight.

          “I guess you could say that “opened a raft of new job opportunities”, but I wouldn’t.”

          Well you’d be wrong. NZ employs more people today than ever before. Trade has opened up a raft of new careers, as new industries have sprung up to support global trade avenues.

          “I mean, you might say that things are better because homeless people can sleep in cars that are generally more comfortable than the cars of 30 years ago. ”

          Far more comfortable, if that’s where they choose to sleep.

          • Macro

            ” NZ employs more people for one hour each week today than ever before.”


            from the Labour Market Statistics

            The unemployment rate increased to 5.7 percent, from a revised rate of 5.4 percent last quarter.

            Your shoddy use of statistics shows you to be the most blatant lying prick to ever comment on this site – and I’ve seen a few in my time.

            • maninthemiddle

              ” NZ employs more people for one hour each week today than ever before.”

              You have no idea whether that is the case. None.

              • Macro

                It was your quote nincompoop! I merely altered it to be more truthful than the statement you supplied. You are aware that the Dept of Statistics now includes those who work only 1 hour a week as “employed”? Many young people are now in that category of working only a few hours each week. These are those 370,000 people who earn between $0 and $5000 per annum.

                • maninthemiddle

                  Yes I know it was my quote. My response was to challenge you to prove that the number working 1 hour only is significant. ‘Many’ doesn’t cut it.

                  • Macro

                    Gezz so you are saying here that around 370,000 people are working multiple hours to earn less that $5,000! Now I wasn’t aware of that – and if you say that is not “many” well I guess it is only around 7.5% of the total population.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Gezz so you are saying here that around 370,000 people are working multiple hours to earn less that $5,000! ”

                      Nope. Read for comprehension. I’m saying your suggestion that everyone employed is only working 1 hour per week is bs. You’re obsessed with trying to explain away the reality that unemployment is dropping and employment rising. You’re failing.

      • save nz 5.1.2

        Keep telling yourself those ‘free trade’ myths, maninthemiddle…

        Really helped Equador for example, sarc.

        Document Reveals EU Bullied Ecuador Into Trade Agreement


        A slippery decision: Chevron oil pollution in Ecuador


      • framu 5.1.3

        “Trade liberalism is largely responsible for liberating previously poor nations,”

        no – PARTLY responsible

        most honest commentators will also point out that you also need a strong focus on other areas at the same time for it to actually reduce poverty

        • maninthemiddle

          Largely, partly, there’s no difference. But I agree with your last sentence.

      • mosa 5.1.4

        Yeah and swamped the country with cheap chinese crap including faulty steel for construction too kill and maim us and fill our landfills up with 5 minute lasting inferior goods.
        These so called jobs have been lost in manufacturing with the advent of trade with China which NZ was warned would happen but we stumbled on regardless.
        Its made most retail companies like Briscoes, the Warehouse ,Mitre 10, K mart Rebel sport and others massively rich while their employees are paid a pittance but created those “new job opportunites” you talk about.
        Just as well the pay is low though we can pay for all those “affordable goods and services” you refer too.
        All thats happened is NZ is now joined the ranks of those poor nations you talk about thanks to these policies which have done nothing except enslave most of this country economically and help us too lift our top 10% too even greater wealth than could have dreamed of.
        Its scary on the back of all that you and others like you think thats progress and are still pushing that mindset.

    • Sacha 5.2

      TPP is not a free trade deal.

    • idbkiwi 5.3

      “Indian weavers had their thumbs cut off”

      That would be a myth, based on a metaphor. The British East India Company did not physically cut off thumbs, they copped blame for a terrible recession in the hand-loom weaving industry in India circa 1810-1850 which left entire families destitute, forced to turn to agriculture for survival, a calling for which they had neither aptitude or experience. Thus Ghandi illustrates the allegation by saying the BEIC “compelled them to cut off their thumbs” ie: move to another occupation at severe disadvantage. Ghandi also made the observation that the linen-mill owners “would draw the noose tight round the neck of the handloom weavers”, this does not mean that the hand-loom weavers were hanged or strangled en masse, but that their prices were undermined by the sneaky industrialists with power-looms and massive output of finished product which they readily exploited when necessary to eliminate rivals, just as today when moguls price their products according to local consumption and competition; think Microsoft, McDonalds or Shell. The power-looms also destroyed the hand-loom weaving industry of Britain itself which was thriving in 1800, in deep recession by 1840 and had almost totally disappeared by 1880, they too “had their thumbs cut off”. Put another way, many saw it as a situation ripe for the “stronger or better positioned to screw over the weaker or less well positioned”.


    • Gareth 5.4

      Free trade in goods can be good for countries even where they are at a disadvantage as long as they concentrate on goods where they are at less of a disadvantage. This guy explains it quite well on p10-12: http://economixcomix.com/home/tpp/

      But, as he also points out in that comic, this assumes the trade is only in goods. Once your trade deal is freeing up movement of capital, it’s a whole different ball game, and one that is generally bad for the weaker side.

    • Fantastic capture of the very essence of the problem. hahaha well said that man.
      If through the machinations of the US elections we somehow fluke the TTPA being withdrawn…we still need to combat alternative trade agreements of similar ilk. Most of us will start to relax and bask in the glory of not being shit scared. Are we ripe for the plucking then? (wish I wasn’t so cynical)
      Another thing is conglomerates rarely add value to a resource. Just look at Fonterra. I believe a raw organic milk full of cream goodness is due to be discovered again by the average Joe. I bet the striped down for parts milk Fonterra ‘produces’ won’t be in that category. At present the natural product is hard to purchase from anywhere except the dairy farm gate. yet the millions of dollars sucked off by the suits in poor forsight is seen as appropriate in getting milk powder to China? Dumb…we should be down sizing our dairy industry and planting deciduous trees for timber and food crops between the trees. (enough) .

  6. vto 6

    Why don’t we just trade within our own New Zealand borders ….

    no different to trading within our own World borders ….

    if you think about it


    • dukeofurl 6.1

      Thats good , we can take you off the list for life saving IMPORTED drugs, or those life saving scans from IMPORTED high tech equipment.

      When you think about it, it has to be the crazy idea of the month award.

      • maninthemiddle 6.1.1


        • Chuck

          Now come on dukeofurl and maninthemiddle be fair…

          You forget that vto and most here look up to North Korea as a role model for what could be achieved in NZ.

          • maninthemiddle

            Oh, I see. Thanks for that. Another Gareth Morgan?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            That isn’t how you spell Scandinavia, you dull tiresome boring indolent dishonest troll.

            • Chuck

              Scandinavia it is then OAB…Bernie Sanders utopia!

              In this particular thread OAB its not a good example to bring up.

              Scandinavia or the Nordic Model is all about free trade.

              So yeah back to North Korea for you!

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                most here look up to North Korea as a role model

                In this particular thread you parroted a tiresome lie, authored by someone else, like the boring unoriginal dishonest troll I described.

                • Liberal Realist

                  +1 Seems like Chuck has his head firmly planted in the sand. What’s next, Reds under Beds subversion? Back to the 1950’s McCarthyite paradise for you Chuck. Or possibly Clintonite ‘New-McCarthyism’ of 2016?

                  This silly notion that because you’re a lefty that makes you a dictatorial communist is laughable. I’d suggest that Chuck dig his head out of that sand and do some reading about the difference between dictatorial communism and liberal social democracy!

      • Lloyd 6.1.2

        If NZ drug manufacturers weren’t handicapped by trade agreements we could probably manufacture duplicate copies of most of those imported drugs and probably considerably cheaper than the exorbitant cost charged by the mainly US “ethical” manufacturers.
        We used to manufacture a wide range of drugs for treating animals, but foreign business bought out this industry and closed it down.
        The scanning equipment might be a little more difficult.

      • weka 6.1.3

        I think vto’s suggestion is about basing our economy on local trade (and as pointed out below, NZ could be manufacturing many of its essentials). That doesn’t preclude trading abroad for neccessities, it just means we have choices rather than being locked into globalisation via pseudo free trade agreements. And that we’re not at the mercy of the banksters.

  7. dave 7

    oh dear john key really has nothing to show for 9 years it truly is a lost decade

  8. maninthemiddle 8

    The TPP will be signed, with or without the US.

    • Stuart Munro 8.1

      Yup – whether or not it benefits NZ too. There is no cure for the kind of stupid this ‘government’ has.

      • maninthemiddle 8.1.1

        There are benefits to NZ with or without the US.

        • Leftie

          What are the benefits Maninthemiddle? because it has already been established there is very little benefit to New Zealand. No perceived trade deal should require that we as a country, lose our sovereignty. That is NOT a trade deal.

          • maninthemiddle

            We don’t lose our sovereignty. The TPP is a trade deal. If we don’t benefit, we can pull out.

            • Macro

              The TPP has nothing to do with trade – It never was and it never will be. It is all about protecting multinationals when they decide to rip off the citizens of some country.

              • maninthemiddle

                Sigh. Quote of tin foil hats used up today.

                • Liberal Realist

                  Ad Hominem much? Guess you’ve got no retort so you whip out the old ‘tinfoil’ hat line. Weak.

                  • Macro

                    The man from the far right has very little logic skills, if any.
                    I try to point our his errors in fact when I can be bothered – but frankly most of his comments are not worth the effort.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    Well when someone labels a trade agreement ‘nothing to do with trade’ they deserve all the derision they get.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The TPP (current version) imposes too many restraints on trade. It may be that minus the toxic influence of the bought US government a good deal can be hammered out by the remaining parties.

              • plumington

                Yes and multinationals donate to the cLinton foundation and Hillary Clinton has been a compulsive liar I don’t think this deal is over yet many powerful corporates don’t want to loose money and Clinton is there guy

                • Macro

                  Yes sadly I think that She will be all about “renegotiating” and as Parsupial noted at 2.2 above

                  “The answer is to finally make trade work for us, not against us.

                  “So my message to every worker in Michigan and across America is this: I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”…

                  Ms Clinton had also previously supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was signed by former President Bill Clinton, her husband, and which Trump routinely disparages as bad for American jobs. Ms Clinton now says she would renegotiate it.

                  That renegotiation will all be about a better deal deal for the USA and that means a worse deal for everyone else.

            • Gabby

              What benefits?

        • Stuart Munro

          But you don’t know what they are.

          You have a latelife erotic crush on John Key and anything he says is fine by you.

          • maninthemiddle

            Of course I know what they are. Look at the MFat or TradeWorks websites. Stop reading crap from people like Kelsey.

            • Stuart Munro

              I’ve read it you plonker – had to to make my submission. It sucks. MBIE weren’t even up to presenting a SWAT analysis of it – demonstrating once again the typical level of Gnat incompetence.

              • maninthemiddle

                MBIE are a government department. Civil servants. They are not the National Party, the Labour Party or any other Party.

                The TPP is a trade agreement. NZ is a trading nation. Trade is good. Without it, we would be broke.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Suppositions – the intellectual property parts are a real upfront cost set to exceed the projected returns from agricultural market access.

                  MBIE contracted it out, as you’d know if you’d read it 😉

                  • maninthemiddle

                    It is MBIE’s report. The IP sections of the TPP are not that concerning.

                    At the end of the day we can pull out if we want, so mention of threats to our sovereignty are utter bs.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Nothing for us till 2030 – and the ‘us’ is foreign owned crap like Silver Fern Farms. But the copyright cost is up front.

                      Gnats don’t do prudent of course, that’s why they always project but never deliver a surplus.

                      A very bad deal – as you tend to get from unequal trade treaties. NZ Korea made more sense – very different product mixes.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Nothing for us till 2030”

                      Who told you that?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      And the dateline for agricultural market access is?

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “And the dateline for agricultural market access is?”

                      Immediately on the TPP coming into force.

                      “Japan – NZ’s trade in high protein products will be duty free at entry into force. After 16 years, almost all NZ’s cheese trade will be duty free.”

                      “US – NZ’s trade in protein products will be duty free at entry into force. In addition, all tariffs will be removed at entry into force on NZ dairy products traded under WTO quotas”

                      NZ will have unrestricted beef access to the US after 5 years.

                      There’s much more too. https://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/sector-outcomes

                      Where did you get the 2030 date from? Again I say, don;t believe anything you read from Kelsey.

                    • Leftie

                      Stuart Munro is referring to the governments own website that states only the full benefit of TPP is estimated to be at least $2.7 billion a year extra in New Zealand’s GDP by 2030.

                      In others words, the TPPA has no real benefits for New Zealand in the the short and/or long term.

                      John key has signed away this country’s sovereignty for nothing.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Stuart Munro is referring to the governments own website that states only the full benefit of TPP is estimated to be at least $2.7 billion a year extra in New Zealand’s GDP by 2030.”
                      No, Stuart said, categorically, there will be ‘nothing’ for us before 2030. Stuart has form with bs.

                      “In others words, the TPPA has no real benefits for New Zealand in the the short and/or long term.”
                      Rubbish. Read my post below in response to Stuart’s question about agriculture. The 2030 date is a reference point only.

                      “John key has signed away this country’s sovereignty for nothing.”
                      NZ has not lost any sovereignty. We are free to leave any time we like.

                    • Leftie

                      Stuart Munro is right there is nothing for us before 2030, take notice of the wording Maninthemiddle, even the known fudgers of figures and facts the National government, know there’s nothing in it for New Zealand. The TPPA is a sell out for American corporate control, and if it dies, then our sovereignty remains intact, but until then what John key has signed us up to, including the unknown fish hooks, makes it not easy to walk away from. The fact that the full text will not become public until 4 years AFTER it is ratified should scare the beejeebies out of everyone, including right wing nuts like yourself. You certainly don’t give a shit about this country or it’s future by supporting the TPPA.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Stuart Munro is right there is nothing for us before 2030,”

                      Are you saying that substantial benefits to NZ agricultural exporters by the reduction of duties and tarifs is ‘nothing’? Are you serious? Do you know anything about business, or are you just trolling?

                    • Leftie

                      Lol that’s rich you accusing someone else of trolling Maninthemiddle.

                • Sacha

                  TPP is an investment regulation agreement. Not much of it even mentions trade and certainly not ‘free’. It is not like the actual FTAs this nation has negotiated.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    “Not much of it even mentions trade…”

                    More Kelsey bs.

                    “The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement that New Zealand is negotiating with eleven countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.” http://fairdeal.net.nz/

                    “ESTABLISH a comprehensive regional agreement that promotes
                    economic integration to liberalise trade and investment, bring economic growth and social benefits, create new opportunities for workers and businesses, contribute to raising living standards, benefit consumers, reduce poverty and promote sustainable growth;”

                    Have you even read a summary of the thing? Here…read the text before you embarrass yourself any more:


                    • Stuart Munro

                      Perhaps you should read those links MiM – you don’t seem to be familiar with the content.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Perhaps you should read those links MiM”

                      I have. I posted them. I even used a link that is critical of the TPP. All mention trade. The actual text of the agreement is full of discussion on trade. That;s why I posted the links.

                    • Leftie

                      Stuart Munro is right, you don’t have a clue Maninthemiddle, and Professor Jane Kelsey is correct in what she says, you on the other hand, are not.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Stuart Munro is right, you don’t have a clue Maninthemiddle, and Professor Jane Kelsey is correct in what she says, you on the other hand, are not.”

                      Stuart Munro claimed there was nothing in the TPP for NZ until 2030. That was bs.

                      Stuart Munro didn’t even know there were immediate agricultural benefits.

                      Jane Kelsey is an ivory tower academic, She has no practical knowledge of trade. When I want to assess whether or not to undergo an operation, I’ll consult someone who has experience, not an academic who’s never had or performed the operation.

                    • Leftie

                      You the one full of BS Maninthmiddle, and your analogy if one can call it that, doesn’t even make sense, so you are ignoring what the govt own website says? There is no immediate benefit. As Stuart Munro says “Perhaps you should read those links MiM – you don’t seem to be familiar with the content.”

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “there is no immediate benefit.”
                      Do you not understand what tariff reductions mean? I can explain if you want.

                      “As Stuart Munro says “Perhaps you should read those links MiM – you don’t seem to be familiar with the content.””
                      I am. But perhaps you are confused. They related to the comment by Sacha “Not much of it even mentions trade…”. The TPP wording is full of references to trade.

                      Look, I’m happy to keep schooling you on the TPP, but seriously, do some reading. You’re looking like an idiot.

                    • Leftie

                      Sacha and Stuart Munro are correct, it’s you who is wrong, and maybe you should follow your own advice and get reading.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      The claimed benefits of tariff reduction do not necessarily accrue to slow-moving and essentially uncompetitive dairy conglomerates like Fonterra – they are just as likely to fill the pockets of large Japanese retailers.

                      But the whole point of including the US in the TPP – which was abnormally stupid even by the standards of this corrupt and backward government – was to secure dairy access to the US market. Don’t pretend it wasn’t.

                      Japan is a second rate deal – the more so because Oz outmanouvered the stupid and backward NZ negotiator and cut a separate deal a year earlier.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Sacha and Stuart Munro are correct,”

                      No. Stuart in particular has made claims that are demonstrably wrong. I have demonstrated clearly there are benefits to NZ pre 2030. If you don’t have the intellect to grasp the evidence, that isn’t my problem.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “The claimed benefits of tariff reduction do not necessarily accrue to slow-moving and essentially uncompetitive dairy conglomerates like Fonterra – they are just as likely to fill the pockets of large Japanese retailers.”

                      Oh, so having not realised the tariff reductions kicked in immediately, you now run from that discussion.

                      Fact 1. You claimed there were NO benefits to NZ before 2030. You were wrong.
                      Fact 2. You suggested there was a delay in the introduction of benefits to NZ agriculture. You were wrong.

                      Having been shown up n both counts, rather than at least having the courage to admit it, you lie about the US involvement.


                  • Leftie

                    +1 Sacha.

        • Draco T Bastard

          There’s no benefits to NZ but there are huge costs. But that’s been true of all the neo-liberal BS of the last thirty years. Lost of costs, no benefits.

          • maninthemiddle

            More kelsey inspired bs. Think for yourself Draco.

            • Leftie

              That’s rich Maninthemiddle, all you are doing is spouting National’s bullshit. Professor Jane Kelsey has NOT been proved wrong. National have though.

              • maninthemiddle

                Can you quote me anything about the TPP on which Kelsey has been CORRECT?

                • Leftie

                  Everything, and she hasn’t been proved wrong.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    The point is, she hasn’t been proven right. She has made all sorts of claims and predictions, yet the sun still shines.

                    • Leftie

                      Well she has been proved right, and she has never been proved wrong, particularly by the resourceful National government.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Well she has been proved right,”

                      I asked for an example. I’m still waiting.

                • Gangnam Style

                  “When I want to assess whether or not to undergo an operation, I’ll consult someone who has experience, not an academic who’s never had or performed the operation.” Yet you support charter schools?

                  • maninthemiddle

                    Yes. And Partnership Schools. Because there is sound evidence they work, from people who know what they’re talking about.

                    • Leftie

                      Are you referring to the business people who run charter schools that profit from public money? There is sound evidence from around the world that shows charter schools don’t work.

                      Sweden issued a public apology in a Swedish daily “Forgive us, our policy led our schools astray”

                      Insight: Sweden rethinks pioneering school reforms, private equity under fire

                      <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-sweden-schools-insight-idUSBRE9B905620131210

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Are you referring to the business people who run charter schools that profit from public money?”
                      Partnership Schools are virtually all not-for-profit. This ‘rich prick’ attitude will blind you to all reality.

                      “There is sound evidence from around the world that shows charter schools don’t work.”
                      No, not really. Charter/Partnership Schools are not for everyone, but they have their place. They provide choice, and, as my Manurewa examples show, are outperforming state schools. The unions are livid!!

    • Leftie 8.2

      Can’t be Maninthemiddle. It just takes one of the big 6, (which the US belongs to and that NZ doesn’t), to not ratify the TPPA, then the deal is dead and gone.

    • Andre 8.3

      It’s already been signed. But it doesn’t go into force until it’s it’s ratified by enough nations to make up 85% of the GDP of the signatories. Which means Japan and the USA have to ratify before it can come into force.

      • Leftie 8.3.1

        And all it will take is just one not to ratify it and the TPPA is history.

      • McFlock 8.3.2

        when has reality ever gotten in the way of mitm? lol

        • Andre

          To be fair, he’s told us he sets his rents to meet the market, with a discount for long term good tenants. That particular point seems pretty reality-based to me.

          • McFlock

            Assuming he even owns property and wasn’t just pulling the “don’t blame us responsible ones” in a discussion about landlords, lol

      • maninthemiddle 8.3.3

        Hi Leftie, Andrew

        1. I don’t believe anything Hilary or Donald say. My suspicion is that, in power, they will bow to pressure and sign, rather than let China get a greater trade foothold in the Pacific.
        2. While technically you are correct, in reality it would be a simple matter to conclude an agreement without the US. As far as I’m aware, these discussions are already underway.

        • Andre

          Yeah, I’ve spent a lot of time worrying that Hillary would flip and ratify it once she’s in the White House. But I’m coming round to thinking she will probably think her political future is best served not to. With Trump, who the fuck knows what he’ll do?

          • maninthemiddle

            Hillary is a dangerous individual, the worst kind of combination of the worst kind of attributes. I don’t rate Donald any better or worse. Most americans I know are bewildered at how a country that leads the world in so many ways could come up with two plonkers for this election.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              It’s very very simple: their right wingers are just like you.

            • Andre

              I’m dual US/NZ, and I’ve spent enough of my adult life in the US that I’m just disappointed, not bewildered, that the choice is another Clinton vs Trump. While there’s a long list of people I’d prefer to Hillary (starting with Warren then Sanders, and even including a few Republicans), I saw enough of her in the 90s that I’m confident she’ll be a lot better at doing the job than she is at selling herself as the best person for the job. Furthermore, as president the pressures and motivations are different than they are as Secretary of State so I think there’s a good chance her foreign policy won’t be as reckless and aggressive as her record suggests.

              • maninthemiddle

                Andre, I do hope you’re right. I have no ‘skin’ in this game. I have lived through favourable democratic and republican presidents and unfavourable ones. My concern with Hillary is her outright dishonesty. Her behaviour over Banghazi was nothing short of disgraceful, then her poor judgement with the email server and subsequent attempts to cover up the seriousness of the situation were not behaviours to engender confidence. Then again, we have Donald…..


          • dukeofurl

            Do you even have any idea of how it works from here for TPA in US.

            “worrying that Hillary would flip and ratify it once she’s in the White House”

            The President cant ‘ratify it’, otherwise Obama would have done so.

            Only Congress can ‘ratify’ and its a yes or No option.

            Sleep easy , but Im sure youll have some another nightmare you can dream up

            • Andre

              Yeah I do know. The President signing off is the final step of ratification after the Senate approves it. But the president doesn’t have to ratify just because the Senate approves it. The House isn’t a part of the process unless there’s legislation changes needed (which there are for the TPPA). Yes, I’m aware of the stuff around Trade Promotion Authorities and up-or-down votes.

              But the nub of the matter is if the president wants the treaty, he/she will push the process along and will fairly likely get it to a vote and likely approval. But if the president is opposed, the treaty dies.

              So I’m trying to keep comments short and readable instead of being long-winded including all the detail.

              And do I score any Pedant Points for pointing out that “Congress” usually refers to the House and Senate together, so strictly speaking Congress does not play a part in treaty ratification, only the Senate is involved?

        • Leftie

          The US is firmly entrenched in the TPPA, if they don’t ratify it it’s dead, so what new deal are you referring to Maninthemiddle?

          • maninthemiddle

            “…if they don’t ratify it it’s dead…”

            You’re stating that as mantra. It is entirely possible the TPP could emerge as a Pacific rim trade deal involving all other nations in it.

            • Stuart Munro

              The Kaiju would never go for it.

            • Leftie

              No I am not, I am stating it as a fact. You said “As far as I’m aware, these discussions are already underway” then you are talking about an entirely new deal that is not the TPPA, so what is this new deal you are referring to Maninthemiddle?

              • maninthemiddle

                “I am stating it as a fact.”

                It’s not a fact. A TPP can be put together in many forms, not just the current one.

                “so what is this new deal you are referring to Maninthemiddle?”

                What deal? I never mentioned any ‘deal’, I mentioned discussions. Here’s a ‘discussion’ about China stepping in to work on precisely such a deal.

                Do you seriously suppose such ‘discussions’ are NOT underway?

                • Leftie

                  “It just takes one of the big 6, (which the US belongs to and that NZ doesn’t), to not ratify the TPPA, then the deal is dead and gone.”

                  “The US is firmly entrenched in the TPPA, if they don’t ratify it it’s dead” IS stating a fact.
                  Do you ever read the links you post Maninthemiddle?
                  so what you are referring to is another deal under “discussion” not the TPPA.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.4

      Actually, it’s already signed but it’s not binding unless 85% of the signatories ratify it. If the US doesn’t ratify it then it doesn’t get the 85% needed to make it binding.

      • maninthemiddle 8.4.1

        …and then the remaining nations go off and do a deal without the US.

        • Leftie

          If that happened, that would be a new deal, not the TPPA.

          • maninthemiddle

            It would be a TPP minus the US.

            • Leftie

              No, it wouldn’t. And you don’t honestly think the USA would really allow every other country make deals that excludes them, would you?

            • Leftie

              No, it wouldn’t. And you don’t honestly think the USA would really allow every other country make deals that excludes them, would you?

              • maninthemiddle

                ‘Every other country’? Other countries make trade deals all the time without the US.

                • Leftie

                  Not like the TPPA. And not when America wants to have control over the Pacific region.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    “Not like the TPPA.”
                    How about the EEC? No US there. MERCOSUR? No US. ASEAN. There are many more.

                    “And not when America wants to have control over the Pacific region.”
                    And that’s where we agree, my friend. Because I suspect, as I said earlier, that Hillary or Donald will swallow a rat and ratify the TPP, rather than let China initiate a new TPP.

    • Paul 8.5


  9. Cinny 9

    Enjoying very much how the TPPA is dying, but it’s not dead yet. The following still remains a concern in the back of ones sometimes twisted mind.

    What if Trump doesn’t want to lose, he stands down, then either the newcomer republican candidate is pro tpp or Obama stays in office for a little bit long and gets the tpp over the line? I don’t trust Hillary one little bit either.

    Sometimes collective trade agreements end up in pacts between countries during times of conflict. I’m not down with that one little bit, too much tension between USA & China/North Korea at the moment.


    • Andre 9.1

      Imagine Trump wins, and he really was in it just for the thrill of the chase and can’t be arsed actually being prez, so he resigns. Then Pence becomes president and Paul Ryan becomes vice-president. Two of the biggest TPP backers out there.

      Sorry if the thought of that scenario disturbs your sleep.

      • Cinny 9.1.1

        Shudders… dang…. NOOOOOOOO.. however anything is possible, and i thought my imagination was twisted. Double dang 😀

        • Sacha

          There’s this incoming asteroid and despite everything Bruce Willis and Will Smith try, it wipes out the eastern seaboard. Trump assumes power from his Nevada lair, and the rest is hystory.

      • dukeofurl 9.1.2

        “Then Pence becomes president and Paul Ryan becomes vice-president. Two of the biggest TPP backers out there.”

        Why does that matter, as the President doesnt ratify, only congress. The US already has a President totally behind TPA, its Obama.
        Your reasoning is totally unsound

        • Andre

          If the Trump campaign manages to turn it around enough that Trump wins, then there’s a good chance the Senate will stay Republican-controlled.

          Since the Republicans are much more in favour of the TPPA than Democrats, a Republican controlled Senate with a pro-TPPA president is fairly likely to get it through.

          It seems a major reason the TPPA hasn’t already been approved by the Senate and ratified by Obama is just the Republican hostility to Obama. Plus opposition from some Democrats to the substance of the TPPA.

          • dukeofurl

            The house and senate are GOP controlled now, if they can pass now why wait till after the election for a GOP controlled Congress with a TPA friendly president.
            They have ALL that now.
            Stop with the fiction that Obama will at some stage ‘ratify’ the agreement. Thats been done when they had the global sign off in Auckland, if you remember.

            Were you awake then.

            • Andre

              The signing that happened here in Auckland was essentially Obama’s representative (Froman?) making the commitment that Obama and his administration will make all best-faith efforts to get the agreement passed through the other branches of government.

              What they have right now is a TPP friendly president, a GOP controlled Senate and House with a significant number of GOP members that are so unhinged with Obama-hatred that they won’t do anything that Obama could spin as a win, even when it aligns with their interests. And a minority of Democratic members in both chambers mostly opposed to the TPP whose opposition has grown stronger over the past few months.

              So while there’s no doubt Obama would do the final sign-off (technically ratification) ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratification ) when it hit his desk, it’s unclear whether the current Senate will in fact vote yes or no for the actual agreement, or whether the House and Senate will both pass the enabling legislation, if these were put to the vote now. But it certainly looks like Obama is going to try hard to get it through while he can http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/obama-congress-trade-warning-226952

              I’ve got no idea where it would leave things if the Senate voted yes to their bits, and the House voted no. The whole dynamic of who will vote for what will change significantly next year with a new president and new congress, even if it’s still a Democratic president with the GOP in control of both houses. For starters, Hillary will get a bit of a honeymoon with the Dems, and who knows how the future Hillary-hatred will balance against the current Obama-hatred.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Free trade is a good thing

    You only get free-trade when the standards on both sides are the same. If they’re not then what you have is trade that’s effectively biased in favour of one party over the other. The FTAs that we’ve been signing actually entrench the biases already in place. Far better to set those standards for ourselves and then trade with those that meet those standards.

    • miravox 10.1

      You only get free-trade when the standards on both sides are the same.

      Listing those standards show where most so-called free trade agreements fall down.
      I’m thinking environment, health & safety and employment rights in particular. Although NZ seems pretty keen on levelling the playing field at the lowest level possible.

  11. Tautoko Mangō Mata 11

    So who wrote the TPP?

    “Political scientists Todd Allee and Andrew Lugg have a new article showing that the TPP is textually more like U.S. FTAs than it is like the FTAs of other TPP parties:”

    The six most-copied chapters in the TPP (investment, financial services, general services, telecommunications, and safeguards) draw particularly heavily upon past US agreement language. This includes some TPP chapters in which two-thirds or more of an earlier US PTA chapter is copied verbatim. …

    Indeed, more than 80% of seven US investment chapters are copied verbatim into the TPP’s investment chapter, as shown in the right side of Figure 4. One of the text illustrations in the Appendix, on minimum standards of treatment for investment, also shows this dominance. Furthermore, the amount of text being copied is significant: more than 7500 words from past US investment chapters are written directly into the TPP’s investment chapter – a final piece of evidence that the US “got what it wanted” in this controversial area to an extent even greater than is realized.

    I cannot understand why Phil Goff persists in supporting an agreement which obviously bears little resemblance to the one that was being negotiated before the USA decided to join and write its corporate wishlist..

  12. Andre 12

    Sigh. Looks like Obama is going to try giving the TPP a bit of CPR.


  13. framu 13

    maybe we should DNFTT?

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