Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, August 30th, 2017 - 53 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, Economy, election 2017, Globalisation, jacinda ardern, labour, liberalism, political parties, politicans - Tags: NZ Labour, TPPA
NZ Labour have said they will seek to renegotiate foreign sales before accepting the TPPA. They’ve been silent on the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions (y’know, the mechanism whereby legislation around the likes of environmental protection or social welfare can be a cash cows for companies claiming compensation for potential loss of profit). And they will not state a willingness to “walk away”.
Anyway, putting aside an apparent acceptance of the ISDS process, there’s a couple of hoary or thorny problems with NZ Labour’s stand.
While they seem to be claiming that placing restrictions on over-seas buyers into the TPPA would alleviate some problems around property markets, Phil “Chinese Surname” Twyford has previously claimed Chinese buyers account for nearly 40% of house sales.
And China isn’t a party to the TPPA.
Then there’s the small detail that successfully re-negotiating anything in the TPPA, while theoretically possible, is extremely unlikely. All parties to the Agreement must agree to any changes, and since the whole damned thing is predicated on gaining various advantages, then…yeah.
I’ve also got a vague impression (though I’d have to check up on this) that no party to the Agreement can be disadvantaged in relation to arrangements any party to the Agreement may have with other non – signatories.
If I’m correct on that front, then NZ Labour would have to renegotiate provisions within the China Free Trade Deal too. And if I’m wrong on that front, then the question still remains as to why any signatory to the TPPA would give up a provision that’s enjoyed by a non-signatory.
(It ought to be noted in relation to what Ardern says in the linked video, that Australia already had restrictions on foreign buyers and it simply didn’t cede those restrictions when negotiating the Agreement. And that’s entirely different to NZ Labour “thinking” it “should” get a second bite at the cherry)