David Slack has a humorous piece on the TPPA this morning. Here’s an extract:
A beginner’s guide to the TPPA
The idea of an ISDS is that if the Government passes some law, or gets a bit too hands-on in the economy, a colossal corporation with armies of lawyers might feel that its rights to do business here have been undermined.
So it can go to the ISDS and say “your honour, that mean country is picking on me, and I have an army of lawyers here to help me prove it.”
And next thing you know, the Government will have to change its laws or its policies to keep the corporation happy.
Could that really happen, though?
If you’re the Government, not the remotest chance. If you’re Jane Kelsey, as sure as the next plane to Sydney.
So who is right?
No one knows. Only time will tell.
That’s not what Matthew Hooton says.
No one knows. Only time will tell.
Of passing relevance to that particular topic:
Rod Oram has his say in the Sunday Star Times today, reproduced on Facebook:
Government’s TPPA stand damages NZ’s honest broker reputation
Here are some of the major gaps between NZ’s rhetoric and reality about the TPPA.
It is a Free Trade Agreement. No, it isn’t. Too many tariffs and other barriers remain for it to deserve the accolade. Rather, it is a “managed trade” pact, argues Martin Sandbu, one of the best analysts at the Financial Times of London, in this article bit.ly/FTonTPPA.
It will remove barriers to trade. But we already sell lots to middle class Americans and Japanese, which are said to be the big prize. While, TPPA might help a bit, it will perpetuate agricultural subsidies, which are the far greater distorter of trade for our primary sector. It will also hinder the World Trade Organisation’s efforts to push back against subsidies.
It will make us wealthy. No, it won’t. By 2030 it could lift our GDP by 0.9 per cent. With TPPA, we’d hit that target by January 1, 2030. Without TPPA we’d hit the target three months later. Moreover, the government’s forecast of 0.9 per cent relies on heroic assumptions about easing non-tariff barriers. Analysis of this is coming thick and fast. Here’s a recent example from Tufts University in the US, bit.ly/TuftsTPPA and this from the Petersen Institute, the most respected, most apolitical of Washington trade think tanks, bit.ly/PetersenTPPA.
The Investor State Dispute Settlement process has been around for years in other trade agreements, so there’s nothing to worry about. Yet the EU halted its FTA talks with the US because it said ISDS was a “very toxic issue.” It came back to the table with a bold proposal for a proper international judicial system for settling disputes.
Only the political left are unhappy with TPPA. Ah, so the Cato Institute, pharmaceutical and tobacco companies, and the EU are left-wing? The reality is fact-based, real world analysts, companies, government and organisations are identifying plenty of problems with TPPA.
But our government and business leaders are insisting TPPA will be a bonanza, bigger even than our Free Trade Agreement with China. At a bare minimum they are setting themselves up for severe disappointment and serious loss of credibility. They are blinding themselves to the massive work that has yet to be done on TPPA. …
Just sayin, it's a bit mean to mock civilians about not understanding the TPPA, cos a) who does? and b) it's real problematic for democracy.
— Keith Ng (@keith_ng) February 6, 2016