TPPA hopefully sinking again

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 pm, August 1st, 2015 - 52 comments
Categories: International, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, trade, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , , ,

Hopefully the TPPA is sinking again. The much heralded final conference has apparently been delayed by many hours.

Trade ministers and officials had set a goal to reach an agreement by today and a press conference on the decision was due to be held at 11:30am New Zealand time.

Radio New Zealand has been told by agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen, who is at the talks representing the interests of the New Zealand primary sector, that the conference will now take place at 5:30pm.

The talks have been described as being on a knife’s edge.
Trade ministers and officials had set a goal to reach an agreement by today.
Former trade negotiator Charles Finny said it was a good sign the news conference has been put back, as it showed negotiations were still on-going, rather than having broken down.

Unfortunately that probably does mean that they think that there is a chance that this daft restraint of trade agreement may go ahead. For NZ there is no good news in it because apparently John Key has been reduced to trying to talk up its benefits for (I have been told – can’t find a link?

1. Tourism – which has virtually no barriers now and has largely constrained by our currency levels. Now that the currency has dropped relative to several other countries, I guess he is hoping for a spike.

2. Hi-tech software and manufacturing.. FFS there are no barriers for the type of tech we export. I’ve been exporting tech, both software and hardware for various companies for more than 2 decades. It is vertical market sales, and to date the number of restrictions at the border is one – exporting antennas to Saudi Arabi.

However there are some international restrictions like ITAR for a few companies in Australasia. However the US is already relaxed their rather extreme interpretations of ITAR in the interests of increasing their exports. I guess that is why John Key mentioned it. In a year or so if TPP is signed, the credit grabbing fool will want to claim credit for something that the US was already doing.

National appear to have started talking up this kind of idiotic crap as it appears increasingly unlikely we will get any improvement in agricultural access. See Fran O’Sullivan this morning “Groser should pack up and leave TPP without good dairy deal – but he probably won’t” for a good summary.

One thing that did surprise me in the NZ Herald this morning was to see that John Roughan does appear to be able to think. It sounds like his tech-head son managed to chisel some basic understanding about how the tech industry views the TPP.. “TPP a threat to knowledge and innovation

My son who works in IT has been furious with John Key – truly scathingly furious – for pursuing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Jared is a “solutions architect”, or was when he worked for a software firm in Auckland. A previous employer in Melbourne has recently hired him back.

He hates the prospect of the TPP with a passion because, he told me, software developers already have to waste too much time and money fighting off idle patent suits from the United States. The idea of adopting an intellectual property regime along US lines fills him with disgust.

It is the one thing that worries me in all the elements of the big trade and investment agreement said to be nearing completion at talks in Hawaii this week. Innovation is seldom easy to define. Knowledge should never be a restricted property and its applications should not be patentable, I think, unless they take the form of a specific branded product directly attributable to an investment in original research and development.

It should not be possible to be granted patents and copyright in anticipation of developments. The idea of rent-seeking speculators investing only in patent lawyers to prey on others’ investment in creative work is truly frightful. But then, so is the idea of mega uploads.

And as usual with The Herald, we have the National part embedded viewpoint from Claire Trevett “Bottom line a problem for Little in flag and TPP” which reads like transcript propaganda from National. Essentially she is arguing that Labour, an opposition party that hasn’t seen the TPP or been involved in negotiations on it since 2008, should state what they expect.

Labour has not spelled out, for example, what it considers would be “meaningful gains” for farmers or how much of an impact on Pharmac it will tolerate. What if the deal delivers meaningful gains to consumers, and to the high-tech or niche manufacturing companies Labour claims to champion but not to dairy farmers?

Ah what? Perhaps Claire should get away from the politician and MFAT bullshit for a while and go and talk to real businesses.

At best I suspect that hi-tech companies are hoping that the TPP will not screw up their existing business. The importers and distribution companies who bring those consumer goods and services in live in a country with virtually no trade barriers worth mentioning, outside of basic quarantine regulations. How is

Sure the border bullshit in the US and Japan for commodities may diminish a bit and improve meaningful gains for their consumers. But perhaps Claire might care to enlighten kiwi consumers of any possible path whereby the TPP would yield “meaningful gains to consumers”.

Claire Trevett should get her sources to outline any specific way (outside of the religious free-trade dogma they and she tend to regurgitate at will) that this could happen in NZ. I’m guessing that neither she or they can.




Disclaimer: I’ve been an enthusiastic supporter of agreements to free up trade since the CER agreement with Australia was negotiated in the 1970s and signed in 1983. Unfortunately, for NZ, the details released over the last four years  has led me to be consider the TTPA to be a restraint of trade for NZ.


Despite the lying of some of our right-wing trolls, Parliament won’t have the right to debate or modify this agreement before it is signed by the executive council. A select committee will be able to look at it for a few days, but can safely be ignored by the executive. Parliament may eventually over the next decade be called upon to modify a few laws.

See MFAT page “The Treaty making process in New Zealand

I’m kind of bored with them using this as a diversion on TPP posts, so it is banned on my post. If they want to raise that, then they are welcome to use OpenMike.

52 comments on “TPPA hopefully sinking again ”

  1. Antony Cotton 1

    New Zealand Economy is going to the Dogs and John Key is bad as Nixon with truth. Hitler always said the big Liar the more people Believe it This Government is so Corrupted and almost like Mugabe in Zimbabwe and yet the rich think as they put She will be right mate.

    • Paul 1.1

      Key is the second worst NZ Prime Minister ever.
      Massey tops the list.

    • Kevin 1.2

      Yet here you all are rejoicing at us (potentially) missing out on being part of a trade agreement that will cover 40% of the world.

      Now, I get that there are sticking points, and those sticking points may legitimately prevent us from signing the thing until those points are resolved. But to just reject the treaty outright is beyond stupid. It’s sabotaging the economic future of this country.

      • Tracey 1.2.1

        it’s not the only game in town Kevin. The time spent on this, and money, could have been usefully spent doing one on one negotiations for FTAs that could work

  2. Poission 3

    The US has withdrawn its offer for Australian dairy access,and a letter from 20 us congressmen want the us to have a say on the other 11 countries empowering legislation.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      On Friday 20 members of Congress signed a letter demanding that the US insist on the right to force changes to other countries’ implementing legislation after the deal was signed.

      That is an outright attack on the other nations sovereignty.

  3. freedom 4

    “John Key has been reduced to trying to talk up its benefits”

    Here he is yesterday talking up the benefits and his sole example is from an agreement that has nothing to do with the TPPA * !

    “If you take kiwifruit, for example, which is grown in this part of the world, TPP nations will want to buy more of that. You can see how difficult it is to operate when Free Trade Agreements (FTA) aren’t in place.

    “The Korean FTA will eliminate the 45 per cent tariffs that kiwifruit growers currently pay. And it’s very difficult to complete when your goods have a 50 per cent premium added on to them when you’re your competitors don’t.

    * although (South) Korea has been invited to attend TPPA talks and has bi-lateral agreements with some participants in the TPPA negotiations, it is not part of the current negotiations.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      I wonder if John Key realises that Kiwifruit is now pretty much grown around the world? If the US wants Kiwifruit I suspect that they’ll just start growing it…

      Oh, wait, they already do.

      We’re never going to get dairy into the US even if they dropped their barriers tomorrow as the US already produce more than enough milk for their market.

      As I keep saying, trade in agriculture is of strictly limited time and value as if local people want it it can be grown there. Thing is, that even applies to high tech once they’ve got a highly educated populace.

    • rawshark-yeshe 5.1

      Couple of questions raised from that link, thx CnrJoe …

      “The failure of the Maui talks pointed to the extreme difficulty of reaching agreement with so many countries, each with its own political dynamics. Vietnam, Malaysia and New Zealand were willing to make significant concessions to gain access to United States markets.”<

      What are they then ??

      "Australia’s delegation insisted that pharmaceutical market protections beyond five years

      So Australia’s Parliament is required to pass their TPP legislation ?? Wow.

    • ianmac 5.2

      See Simple Simon @ 2.

  4. rawshark-yeshe 8

    I hope some brilliant internet artist will do a rework of the Toyota dog falling off the back of the ute face first into the mud, saying “Bugger”. Insert Key’s head on dog and Groser’s on a second one. Bugger indeed !!

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer couple of blokes !

  5. maui 9

    Groser will come back and Key will ask why was our Dairy team over there trying to negotiate a deal. Next thing you know we’ve capitulated, we don’t get access to Canada, but instead get some bogus entry to the US market. Deal is signed before November.

  6. infused 10

    Oh look. Im right again.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      It wasn’t that hard to predict, really.

      A much more relevant thing to predict: will NZ sign it?

      • infused 10.1.1


        Thats what i said 2+ years ago when u were all crying about it. There will not be an agreement

        • Lanthanide

          I’m leaning in that direction now. But I wasn’t anywhere near that confident 2 years ago.

          • infused

            It’s all a big show. It’s not in Americas interest. It’s not in ours. Despite the tin foil hat wearing lefties, we are not going to sign a deal that’s not good for NZ.

            Since it was never going to be good for NZ, and the US won’t compromise, it’s good as dead.

            • Draco T Bastard

              All indications are that our government was going to sign it right up until Australia didn’t.

              • AmaKiwi

                They signed away our privacy without answering a single objection from the top legal scholars and public outcry. Yes, they will sign anything for another game of golf with POTUS.

              • infused

                Hence my line “its a show”

                Read a bit more from outside of NZ… not those stupid conspiracy sites either.

        • Tracey

          well, you are a better predictor than Dr Wayne Mapp

  7. Lanthanide 11

    Think if we get protests like this, the government would back down on signing?

    I wonder if enough people are knowledgeable / concerned enough to turn out. Certainly the comments on stuff on TPPA articles are overwhelming negative on it, as much as Wayne might like to tell us that it’s “just Standardistas” who don’t like the TPPA.

    I will probably get off my arse and attend a protest, if it looks like we’re about to sign it – will be my first.

  8. millsy 12

    Seems to be more a reprieve than a pardon.

    But we will see what happens.

    People power managed to derail the MAI and GATS, and both were TPPA-like, so there is hope yet.

  9. ropata 13

    Tim is gonna make some crap up & hope we fall for it. Yeah nah. He's got another thing coming— Alan (@alans_world) August 1, 2015

  10. ropata 14

    RELEASE: "Target Tokyo": #NSA spied on Japanese PM and major corps such as #Mitsubishi #Japan— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 31, 2015

    • AmaKiwi 14.1

      It’s impossible to compete if your major competitor is reading all your in-house mail.

      I am amazed there has not been massive retaliation from major US allies whose industries have been spied on for years by the USA: Germany, France, and now Japan.

    • Tracey 14.2

      which is why Mr Mapp’s insistence that the people of NZ can’t know the details of negotiations so as to secure our negotiating position is BULLSHIT. All the TPP nations are spying on each other and their corporations,s o all bottom lines are well and truly known to each other.

  11. Pat 15

    The Minister appears to think he is at war with those whose interests he was elected to represent….a strange and telling attitude.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      The Minister said the government was fighting TPPA opponents with one hand tied behind its back, as it simply could not provide the real facts and figures while the discussions were still happening.

      Nothing stopping them making a full release of the text.

      We can’t state what we know in precise terms to prove our case.

      They don’t have precise terms – they have ideology and nothing else. Thirty years ago we were told that we would become wealthier by these free trade changes that got dumped on us and today we have more poverty and more inequality than ever before in our history.

      New Zealand and Australia and America are all fighting pretty hard to get better market access for dairy, particularly in to the large consumer markets, and we just need to see more progress in that area if we’re going to get an agreement that we can all buy into,” Mr Petersen said.

      Even if all the barriers that are there that prevent us from exporting to the US and Japan were removed we still wouldn’t get any better access than we have now simply because those nations already produce what their nations need and they do it cheaper than we can get it on to their market.

      Mr Petersen believed there had been too much time and capital investment put into the deal for it to fail, and he was confident there would be a great outcome for New Zealand.

      That’s not a good reason to go through with the deal.

  12. Draco T Bastard 16

    Jane Kelsey: TPPA ministerial fails – time for Key and Groser to cut their losses

    The idiots seem to be doubling down instead.

    In TPP talks, Barack Obama loses battle against traditional trade powers

    But, realistically, the next best chance of an agreement has been kicked beyond Canada’s October election and into the US election season.

    In other words, it has been punted out into the Never Never.

    So, it’s dead in the water ATM and so we need to take more action to pressure this government into not signing. Unfortunately, National doesn’t listen to the people that they were elected to represent – they only listen to the multinational corporations.

    • Tracey 16.1

      Kudos to Kelsey for continuing to present a counter view to Key, Groser, Mapp et stooge

      • AmaKiwi 16.1.1

        A measure of how outstanding a job Jane Kelsey is doing is the continuous and extensive coverage TTPA gets in NZ media compared to overseas.

        As for the final outcome: “Time, time, time, it’s on our side, yes it is.”

        Thanks, Jane.

        • Tracey

          And how even mild mannered Mr Mapp starts hissing her name and calling people “hard left” and “socialists” who don’t support his view of the TPP

  13. Sable 17

    I can but hope the dirty TPPA meets the death it deserves…..

  14. Don't worry. Be happy. 18

    It was never a Free Trade Agreement….it was a Betrayed Agreement…..

  15. AmaKiwi 19

    A good description of how under TPPA democracy based on the collective social good is to be obliterated by the devotion to corporate profits.

    “The time has long since passed when citizens could have any hope that the two major political parties in Australia (and New Zealand) would have the foresight to oppose these tools of corporate feudalism. Through such agreements (TPPA), the governance inheritance that has made Australian (& NZ) society equitable and just is being eroded under an ideology in which increasing multinational corporate profits is regarded as a dominant policy good.

    The next stage of the fight will be to define what aspects of our public infrastructure can be carved out from this anti-democratic governance system. After that the leaders of future generations of Australians (& NZ) will be consumed with how to extricate our society from these inequitable and unjust changes to our social infrastructure.”

    The full Sydney Morning Herald article is excellent and completely applicable to NZ.

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