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What they don’t tell you about the TPPA

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 pm, February 3rd, 2016 - 146 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: , , ,

When a government prepares to surrender a share of its sovereignty, you would expect a compelling reason for doing so. No country would accept limits on its law-making power without an equal trade-off, surely?

Well, no country except New Zealand. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), the twelve nation trade deal scheduled for its signing ceremony in Auckland on Thursday, places substantial limits on the government’s law-making powers while offering very little in return.

Economic modelling commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade predicts that the deal will be worth $2.7 billion by 2030, or a 0.9 percent increase in GDP. That sounds like a tremendous upfront benefit, at least until you realise the projected benefit (commissioned by the government department most invested in the deal’s success) is spread across a fifteen year period.

Analysis by leading economists found that after extrapolating from current growth rates GDP is expected to increase 47 percent by 2030 without the TPPA or 47.9 percent with the TPPA. In other words, the projected benefits from the TPPA essentially amount to a rounding error. Unexpected changes in commodity prices could wipe out the projected gains.

Advocates insist that the TPPA will open the door to economic boom times, but even the government’s own projections show that the deal fails its own terms for success – GDP growth. Even the darling of the New Zealand economy – dairy – will struggle as tariff barriers will remain in Japan, Canada and the US (in fact, the TPPA is likely to “lock in” these barriers).

But the questions is: what are we giving up in return for growth of less than 1 percent across 15 years? The answer is sovereignty. If the deal is implemented it will be enforced through secretive overseas tribunals with the power to impose sanctions on countries it rules have breached the agreement. This is commonly called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and it gives a privileged class of foreign investors the right to bypass national legal processes.

Maybe a future government decides it will favour local workers over overseas contractors, but if it does so then it will have to consult the “performance requirements” in the deal first. This chapter of the agreement places limits on policy-making. If the overseas contractors disagree with the government’s interpretation then it’s off to the overseas tribunal under the ISDS provisions. Would massive sanctions follow?

The TPPA hasn’t been negotiated in the interest of working families and the New Zealand economy. Instead the deal overwhelmingly favours overseas companies, especially companies that can exploit their monopoly power (think of pharmaceutical companies who use their intellectual property rights to keep the price of medicines artificially high).

For these reasons and many more, I’ll be urging the 27,000 members of FIRST Union to join the tens of thousands of other New Zealanders who will hit the streets of Thursday to say “no” to this deal that harms our collective future. News is already breaking that the US is attempting to renegotiate certain aspects of the deal, including stronger rights for pharmaceutical companies to keep medicine prices high, in an effort to secure support from the Republican-controlled Congress.

Is this really the sort of deal we want to burden our children and grandchildren with?

Robert Reid is General Secretary of FIRST Union, the union representing retail, finance, and transport and logistics workers.

146 comments on “What they don’t tell you about the TPPA”

  1. Detrie 1

    It the above is true, then I can only guess it is their pride that makes them sign up and a photo opportunity for Key on the world stage, plus helping him secure another round of golf with Obama on his next trip.

    • Matthew Hooton 1.1

      It isn’t true. ISDS provisions only apply to the investment chapter so the “overseas contractors” argument is entirely bogus. Also, ISDS tribunals are not secret: they must be open to the public. The TPP does not lock in current tariff barriers for dairy. These are all reduced. It is true the reductions for commodity milk powder are not as big as hoped but they are for higher value products. For example, NZ ice-cream into the US will become completely tariff free. This is all in the text. Robert should read it himself rather than relying on the bullshit others have fed him.

      • Muttonbird 1.1.1

        You’re quoting frozen ice-cream sales to the US as a win in this?

        Ok, then.

        • Matthew Hooton

          It’s just a line item in the 6000 pages along with hundreds of other tariff reductions. But are you saying your don’t think the abolition of the tariff might help premium NZ ice cream manufacturers access the biggest ice cream market in the world?

          • Lanthanide

            Are the ice cream makers going to pay an extra $50M in tax a year to the government to help cover the increase in drug prices?

            • BM

              Does the company you work for export?

            • Matthew Hooton

              Who knows? No doubt we will be surprised by which NZ industries take most advantage of the deal. The estimate of $2.7b in GDP gain will more than pay for the estimated $50m drug import issue.

              • BM

                Exactly, talk about penny wise and pound foolish.

              • Muttonbird

                Perhaps, but the most vulnerable Kiwis will pay directly for the increased penalties and the least vulnerable Kiwis will be advantaged directly from the increased benefits.

                The point socially responsible people are making is the benefits to NZ will not be distributed evenly. This has been the case with the current government’s policies to date…

                The wealth gap is widening. Child poverty is increasing. The rights and conditions of the increasing renting class are deteriorating. Foreign speculation in NZ houses is being actively marketed without recourse to protect ordinary Kiwi families. These are facts in NZ and the TPPA has simply not been argued enough in terms of dealing with these issues.

              • savenz

                @Matthew – that 2.7 b is estimated over 15 years – works out the most optimistic expectation of the government is 11 cents per day. But the costs start immediately with Pharmac having to spend millions changing it’s software and all the other companies…. That is before we have the elevated costs of medicines bought into the equation…. What about Charter schools etc

                National Party – the guys putting NZ billions in debt
                National Party – Giving bribes to Saudi business men
                National Party – Giving corporate welfare to sky city

                and so forth… I think we know who is going to be getting corporate welfare and it is not most Kiwi businesses…

          • savenz

            @Matthew Hooton – hope they are paying you well….

            UNDER TPP NEW ZEALAND – Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for New Zealand would be .77%, an estimated 6,000 jobs would be lost and -1.45 labor share of GDP would be lost. http://huff.to/1TdyueC
            “The Tufts report projected that incomes in the United States would decline by a half-percentage point compared with the change expected without the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Peterson Institute’s report, by economists from Brandeis and Johns Hopkins universities, projected that incomes would rise by half a percentage point.”
            US JOBS LOST
            “The Tufts paper also projected that the overall economies of the United States and Japan would contract slightly. Employment in the United States would decline by 448,000 jobs; total job losses in the dozen nations would be 771,000 — a small share of the nations’ total work forces, yet hardly a selling point for leaders seeking to ratify the trade agreement.”
            “The Obama administration has acknowledged that some jobs would be lost, especially in manufacturing and in industries that employ workers with lower skills, but it has said that those losses would be offset by new jobs created in export-reliant industries that pay more on average. The Peterson Institute report offered evidence for that argument, while concluding that there would be no net change in overall employment in the United States.”
            “‘Economic gains would be negligible for other participating countries — less than one percent over 10 years for developed countries, and less than three percent for developing countries,’ the Tufts report said.”
            “‘We project negative effects on growth and employment in non-T.P.P. countries,’ the report said. ‘This increases the risk of global instability and a race to the bottom, in which labor incomes will be under increasing pressure.’”
            FULL NYT ARTICLE: http://nyti.ms/1Sqnhsk
            1) TUFTS UNIVERSITY STUDY: http://bit.ly/1PSp34O
            2) PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS STUDY was unavailable. An analysis of it can be read here: http://reut.rs/1KnJGTV
            3) WORLD BANK STUDY: http://bit.ly/1JVziTB


      • Bill 1.1.2

        Q1. What type of company is and is not covered by the ‘investment chapter’?
        Q2. Care to provide a link to all these publicly available ISDS decisions and deliberations?

        A1. Any company seeking to do business in NZ that can take the hit for its ISDS costs…ie, any and all large companies.
        A2. There will be no link, because no such access is publicly available (only a wee few have been made public)

        • Matthew Hooton

          i can’t link to them because, um, none have occurred under the TPP rules because it hasn’t been ratified yet, nor have any others occurred under other deals involving NZ.

          • Bill

            So you don’t dispute the first point.

            And on the second point, you lied. Just because there have been no ISDS cases involving NZ doesn’t explain why anything less than the sum total of the burgeoning number of them from recent years are publicly available Matthew.

            • Matthew Hooton

              I certainly dispute it. You can’t use ISDS just because you are seeking to do business in NZ. You have to have invested here, and invested in the basis of specific promises made to you which are then broken by NZ destroying the value of your investment.

              • Paul

                Coca Cola have invested here.
                We have an obesity epidemic.
                A government that cares about the health of our people might enact laws to tax them heavily for the damage their product does and/or put them out of business in this country.
                And they should have that right.

                Pernot Ricard have invested here.
                We have an alcohol crisis.
                A government that cares about the health of our people might enact laws to tax them heavily for the damage their product does and/or put them out of business in this country.

                And they should have that right.
                Our sovereignty is being dismantled and you are cheering for the multinationals.

                • Blue Sky

                  Paul’s comment. ^^^^ THIS! +1

                  If a government is socially or environmentally responsible and does anything to advance that which harms an investment they will be tied up legally.

                  This is wrong democratically especially if the investment is from offshore.

                  It is only now it is subject to to public scrutiny objections can be raised by those who care to look and think.

              • Incognito

                This is so ambiguous it could pass for spin:

                You have to have invested here, and invested in the basis of specific promises made to you which are then broken by NZ destroying the value of your investment.

                So, a law change is not breaking a specific promise is it?

                Who specifically makes/made these specific promises?

                What constitutes “investment” under the TPPA? Would NZ$10 suffice?

                What the heck is “the value” of your investment? How the market values it at any given point in time?

                What about the future value of your investment? Investment is an ongoing process, isn’t it, till you pull out and sell up (or go bankrupt)?

                What does “destroying” mean in this context? A loss, partial, complete? A future loss, less profit than market analysts had ‘predicted’?

                Meaningless waffle!

              • vto

                Matthew Hooton: “You have to have invested here, and invested in the basis of specific promises made to you which are then broken by NZ destroying the value of your investment.”

                Thanks for writing that Mr Hooton, it outlines how your entire base premise and outlook is wrong.

                There is no promise made to said investors.

                There are only laws made for NZ and our constitutional arrangements. These allow us to make and change laws as we wish. Our laws are not promises to foreigners.

                Said investors invest here knowing that risk. That is a decision for them.

                Just like it is a risk for us here in NZ. We make investment decisions on the basis of laws enacted – they often get changed, affecting our own investments, we have to suck it up. And do.

                Your entire foundation is muddy-headed Hooton.


                This is where the TPP is simply wrong.

                It aint rocket science

          • Paul

            Heard Lori Wallach’s points about litigious US corporations?

            • Matthew Hooton

              The only people who take her seriously are 9/11 truthers, the Labour caucus. She is opposed to even the WTO and encouraged the violence in Seattle.

              • Paul

                Not true, Matthew.
                Please stick to the facts.

              • Penny Bright

                Been mentioned lately in The New York Times Matthew?

                I see US Trade expert Lori Wallach has:


                The Opinion Pages

                The Trans-Pacific Pact Would Kill Jobs and Consumer Protection

                Lori M. Wallach is the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

                UPDATED OCTOBER 6, 2015, 10:38 PM

                The TPP has been negotiated behind closed doors for seven years with notorious human rights violators like Vietnam and Malaysia andhundreds of official U.S. trade advisers mainly representing corporate interests. The administration had kept the text secret, even after announcing a final deal, and is now making absurd claims about its glories. But thanks to leaks and negotiator admissions, it’s clear this is a bad deal for most Americans.

                The TPP includes investor protections also found in NAFTA that incentivize American job offshoring by eliminating risks otherwise associated with producing in low-wage countries. It would drive down our wages by putting Americans in competition with Vietnamese workers who make less than 65 cents per hour. And it would also result in larger trade deficits, killing more jobs. Our experience with similar free trade agreements has shown what happens. The United States had 20 percent higher export growth over the last decade to nations that are not free trade agreement partners than to nations with which we have such agreements. The Obama administration’s 2012 U.S.-Korea free trade agreement served as the TPP’s template, but the U.S. goods-trade deficit with Korea more than doubled, undermining tens of thousands of American jobs.

                Meanwhile, the administration dismissed Congress’s demand that the TPP include enforceable disciplines against countries lowering their currency values to gain unfair trade advantages after Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia threatened to leave the negotiations.

                But only six of the TPP’s 30 chapters even cover actual trade issues. The rest are a trade pact Trojan horse of regulatory relaxation and new corporate rights to which signatories agree they will conform their own laws.



                Penny Bright

                2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

              • Ben

                Neo-Conservatism is going out of fashion Hoots, feel free to break away from the bollocks and join us in 2016.

              • paul

                You are SO SO wrong.
                Professional and intelligent NZers are listening and watching and sorting out the wheat from the chaff.
                We know very well where the chaff is, it’s right in the epicentre of our govt and the merchants who create the spin and biased pr without providing any of the whole truth to NZers.
                That is why NZers cannot trust the pm or the govt or the mainstream media.

              • savenz

                @ Matthwe H… Yawn

                Do you have a set script supplied or do you make it up yourself?

                My guess is script.

          • pat

            “i can’t link to them because, um, none have occurred under the TPP rules because it hasn’t been ratified yet, nor have any others occurred under other deals involving NZ.”

            But Mathew you assert (erroneously) that ISDS is nothing new…..so all you need to do is link to one of the over 600 cases already filed surely?

            As you well know the ISDS provisions in the TPPA are unique in their construction to the TPPA and comparing them with the China/NZ FTA is disingenuous on a grand scale

          • savenz

            @Matthew H – how convenient – no links to back up the garbage you are spouting.

      • Paul 1.1.3

        How many of the 600 TPP corporates pay you?

        • Matthew Hooton

          Ah yes, the delusional fantasy that any client of mine would give a fuck what is written on the standard

          • Paul

            Of course they won’t.
            And you aren’t here to persuade them.
            But you are here to muddy the waters.on their behalf.

            • Matthew Hooton

              It doesn’t matter to anyone what is written here. It’s just like a debating hobby or something. Don’t flatter yourself.

              • Paul

                Of course Matthew.
                You are debating what you really believe.
                It’s got nothing to do with what your corporate paymasters tell you to write.
                What does it feel like to speak for the multi-nationals?

              • NZSage

                Seems like Hooten clearly cares about The Standard…. very, very active on the TPPA subject.

                $omething is motivating him to contribute today,

            • marty mars

              yep Paul and watch how the nastyhollowhoot comes out now – doesn’t like the truth affecting his toxic spin

              • Paul

                Yes I am getting a lot of blow back for simply stating corporates pay him to express a view. He does not appear to like that.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  No corprpate has ever paid me to express a view anywhere except where I have disclosed that. Whether you believe that or not, do you have any substantive points to make?

          • Penny Bright

            Matthew, Matthew ….

            In my opinion, your language is not particularly ‘professional’?

            Are your, and/or your PR company ‘Exceltium’ STILL not members of the ‘Public Relations Institute New Zealand ‘ (PRINZ).

            In my view, just because you appear to be losing the argument – you don’t need to lose your ‘decorum’ – as it were?


            As a ‘Tradie’ – I hail from an engineering workshop background, but I do know how to debate issues in an arguably ‘civilised’ manner?

            If ‘explaining’ is apparently losing (the argument) – what is (unnecessarily, in my view) swearing?

            Time to ‘lift your game’ Matthew?

            I think so.

            Penny Bright
            2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

            PS: How many concerned Kiwis who are opposed to the TPPA do you think Matthew, we’ll get filling Queen St tomorrow lunchtime, on our peaceful, ‘family friendly’ march, which starts at 12 noon, Aotea Square, and goes up Queen St, to end at Britomart (QE2 Square) at 1pm?

          • Doogs

            Well it seems that you do Matthew, or you wouldn’t be here shitting all over the floor and denting all the furniture. Oh, and smashing a few vases too, while you’re at it. You are the veritable bull in the china shop, aren’t you?

            You are blinded by the dazzle off the investment pile, and enraged by the reasoned opposition. You don’t like the resistance, then get off the site that uses thoughtful and evidential arguments in opposition to this government neo-liberalist steamroller.

          • plumington

            Perhaps because your clients aren’t into democracy and healthy debate from all quarters of society something a True democracy respects and encourages

      • pat 1.1.4


        interesting to note ice cream into US has a 17% tariff….only slightly above the international average of 14.9%….also interesting is the fact that Japan which has a range of tariffs/taxes totaling 49.3% is our biggest export market….and we are a net importer from the US.

    • Grantoc 1.2

      “If the above is true”

      Which it is not.

      Rather, its a delusional fantasy designed to stir up opposition to the deal.

      I note the author of the article is a trade unionist. He presumably supports the ILO international labour agreements even though they require that the signatory nations give up some of their sovereignty.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1

        He argues that giving up sovereignty must result in a substantial benefit to be worth it, and that the TPP fails to deliver.

        Curiously, you’re busy arguing against something else entirely.

    • savenz 1.3


      Under TPPA Kiwis will pay more for medicines and for longer, we lose the rights to make laws that protect the environment, protects our health, etc., we empower multinational corporations even though they are more powerful than New Zealand and we do it all for a alleged $40 per year!
      11 cents per day is the best case scenario the Government can spin!
      11 cents per day, some Gold Standard John Key!

  2. amirite 2

    And a few business deals for himself and the old boys network.
    The rest of the population can die waiting for that specific cancer drug they need, to become available.

  3. BM 3

    I thought it was $2.7 billion per year.

    Also, how did maft arrive at that figure has anyone got a link?

    • Magisterium 3.1

      It’s really $5.4 billion, because if we don’t get it someone else does.

    • Paul 3.2

      You are so naive.
      I feel sorry for you.

    • Matthew Hooton 3.3

      You are right. The $2.7 billion is an annual figure – it’s a permanent increase in GDP. So it is $27 billion per decade from 2030. It is certainly conservative compared with the counterfactual of deciding not to be part of TPP and it going ahead with the other 11.

      • BM 3.3.1

        Does that figure take into account all the new business opportunities the TPPA will open up.?

        I’m guessing not because how do you quantify that.

        • Matthew Hooton

          No, that would be liking trying to quantify the benefits of, say, the EU, back in 1957. Or CER in 1983. The benefits always massively exceed those projected by economists models because those models don’t (and obviously can’t) take into account the gains that arise from the deepening of relations between the populations of the various countries.

          • BM

            That’s what I thought and that’s the most important aspect of the TPPA.

            NZ businesses are so lean and agile compared to rest of the world, the TPPA just opens up so many potential opportunities Kiwi businesses can quickly take advantage of, especially in the states.

            I don’t know how any one could be against this, the positives by far outstrip any negatives.

            I’m also struggling with why this unionist Reid is anti the agreement, doesn’t he want kiwis in work?

            • Stuart Munro

              NZ businesses are nothing to write home about – except in tech. Our dairy and fish are still commoditised – 1960s model. NZ commercial praxis is not light-footed – it’s conservative – the only real innovation comes from wholly new firms.

              Are Fletchers leading this? Talleys? Lion (failed in China due to culturally inappropriate marketing)? Nope. Not rockstars.

              Spin your Pollyanna myths elsewhere – we know you plonkers.

            • lprent

              I don’t know how any one could be against this, the positives by far outstrip any negatives.

              That is because you have have been too lazy to look at the detail.

              It has no advantage for the vast majority of NZ’s citizens and even less for most workers. They don’t work in agriculture, horticulture, wineries or forestry. Those industries and their processing plants employ less than 4% of the countries workers.

              There are virtually no tariff barriers for any of the goods and services we export outside of those sectors to the countries in the TPPA. That is because outside of the barely processed sectors above, we largely export goods and services with very high degrees of intellectual property incorporated and a few minerals. Any exporting business with any intellectual property in it will incur quite significiant extra costs in legal bills because of the TPPA.

              Most citizens of NZ will incur costs from the TPPA, but really only a few lucky landowners will find any benefit sometime over the next 15 years from the TPPA.

              Perhaps you should try thinking about the topic instead of blindly believing idiots who don’t know what they are talking about.

          • miravox

            “No, that would be liking trying to quantify the benefits of, say, the EU, back in 1957.”

            You say that as if people all over the EU feels there are more benefits of being in than out.

          • Lanthanide

            They also don’t, and can’t, take into account the onerous provisions, such as software patent law changes that will stifle innovation in this country.

            • lprent

              Yep. There have been several people that I know who have decided not to start up here and have gone into legal climes that don’t have those idiotic litigatious intellectual property provisions that US lawyers love. That egotistical idiot Tim Groser traded them off for some meaningless tariff drops for milk. He really didn’t have any sense of proportion.

      • Paul 3.3.2

        Spin away, Matthew.

      • lprent 3.3.3

        Perhaps you should point to the analysis of your latter point?

        But of course this set of idiot dingbats at MFAT don’t seem to have analysed the counter factual have they?

  4. Paul 4

    Gordon Campbell on the Treaty/TPP overlap

    ‘The people who point out that we already have investor-state dispute settlement provisions in other trade deals and ‘so far so good, we haven’t had to worry about them’ …man, that is such an absurd argument. When it comes to arms reduction and nuclear proliferation, do we say ‘Hey, we haven’t had World War III yet, so its OK to keep on building the bombs and spreading them around?’ No, we aim to restrict the prevalance of the weapons, we don’t make them easier to use, and we don’t try to claim that they ‘protect’ us.

    The other common TPP canard is that hey, since a (razor slim) majority of parties in Parliament are in favour of this deal, everyone should go home because the process is entirely democratic. Well, no. We do not have an elected dictatorship in this country whereby majoritarian rule can do whatever it likes and retroactively claim a mandate for its actions. Such a Parliament can indeed ram through laws, but it will do so only by debasing the currency of government, which requires transparency and consultation and some prior process of rational debate.’


    • Matthew Hooton 4.1

      The comparison of ISDS with nuclear weapons is completely absurd.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        As is the comparison with existing ISDS provisions and the TPPA’s provisions. There are thousands of American corporations who will now have the opportunity to sue NZ the next time the Government tries to do something in the public interest. They are not known for their caution.

        • Matthew Hooton

          That is just complete nonsense. Enjoy the protest tomorrow though.

          • Stuart Munro

            If the ISDS were as benign as you claim any competent lawyer would have removed it from the agreement. You’re peddling a lie, Matthew.

            • Paul

              That’s his job.
              How does it feel I wonder to go to sleep every night knowing you earn your money through such means.

          • Bill

            The nonsense Matthew, is that any foreign company that’s big enough, can bypass NZs judicial system and’take a punt’ on an ISDS. Now sure, it might be in the region of a US$8 million (average costs) punt. But I guess a quick risk analysis on possible gains and the fact that a bunch of sympathetic corporate lawyers, who are all on fucking first name basis with one another, and who all both pursue and defend cases will be judging your dispute with no reference to any national or international legal precedents….

            • Paul

              He knows all this.
              But his masters tell him to spin their story

              • Bill

                Yeah. True. Going to stop wasting my time and get on with that ‘Corporate Saviours’ post.

                • Paul

                  How can someone like Hooton sell their soul for the multinationals?
                  Surely, once he cared about other people?

            • Lanthanide

              And there is absolutely no right of appeal, either.

            • Matthew Hooton

              The tribunals will not be made up of corporate lawyers. That is another lie being put around by the antis. Read the text about how they are appointed.

              • Bill

                There are a small handful of international legal firms with dedicated in-house teams (the members of which all know one another across firms) to choose from. The government chooses one. The corporation chooses another. Between the two of them, those chosen two agree on a third from among their buddies.

                You talk as though these things are some future thing that haven’t been running for a few years now.

                • Bill

                  Just to expand.

                  Nearly all the arbitrators are men from Europe and N. America employed by the worlds top (largest) 20 law firms. The top three firms – providing most arbitrators are Freshfields (UK) White and Case (US) and Key and Spalding (US)….extremely litigious, not exactly known for their pro-bono work or their social or environmental morality. They have the likes of Exon as clients.

                  15 highly paid international lawyers from those 20 firms have decided 55% of all known disputes and 75% of all known cases involving claims in excess of US$4 Billion.

                  All the above and much, much more is contained in the link I’m pasting David Malone from Feb of last year talking about the sister to the TPP, the TTIP. For anyone genuinely interested in knowing about and getting to grips with the fish-hooks in these so-called deals, it’s an hour and a half very well spent.

                • Paul

                  Thanks Bill will definitely watch it.

              • Michael Vinsen


                [lprent: An moronic troll attempts to help out Hooten by discussing work. But instead betrays his parasitical dependence on a protected local market. ]

              • lprent

                A link would help. But as far as I can see they appear to be lawyers who cater to corporates in civil cases or judges who used to do that.

              • Blue Sky

                What do you think the chances of Prof Jane Kelsey or someone of her views being offered a role? I would think she is suitably qualified.

          • Macro

            Have a look at this Matthew and then tell us that there will be no isds claims from the 1600 US corporates against NZ
            Just note that the US is one of the most litigious countries and are not shy in making ISDS claims.
            Also note that so far NZ has been fortunate in not signing FTA agreements with litigious countries – although firms in China are now beginning to get a taste for it.
            It is madness to be signing this – and the “benefits” are vicarious at best.

        • Michael Vinsen


          [lprent: An idiot troll attempts to elucidate legal principles, but instead wanks on about his prejudices. ]

          • Paul

            ISDS Cases lost by government

            S.D. Myers v. Canada
            Between 1995 and 1997 the Canadian government banned the export of toxic PCB waste, in order to comply with its obligations under the Basel Convention, of which the United States is not a party. Waste treatment company S.D. Myers then sued the Canadian government under NAFTA Chapter 11 for $20 millions in damages. The claim was upheld by a NAFTA Tribunal in 2000.

            Occidental v. Ecuador
            In October 2012, an ICSID tribunal awarded a judgment of $1.8 billion for Occidental Petroleum against the government of Ecuador.[17] Additionally, Ecuador had to pay $589 million in backdated compound interest and half of the costs of the tribunal, making its total penalty around $2.4 billion.[17] The South American country annulled a contract with the oil firm on the grounds that it violated a clause that the company would not sell its rights to another firm without permission. The tribunal agreed the violation took place but judged that the annulment was not fair and equitable treatment to the company.

            Ethyl Corporation v. Canada
            In April 1997 the Canadian parliament banned the import and transport of MMT, a gasoline additive, over concerns that it poses a significant public health risk. Ethyl Corporation, the additive’s manufacturer, sued the Canadian Government under NAFTA Chapter 11 for $251 million, to cover losses resulting from the “expropriation” of both its MMT production plant and its “good reputation”.
            A similar challenge was launched by three Canadian provinces, under the Agreement on Internal Trade, and was upheld by a Canadian dispute settlement panel. Consequently, the Canadian government repealed the ban and paid Ethyl Corporation $15 million as compensation.

            Dow AgroSciences v. Canada
            On August 25, 2008, Dow AgroSciences LLC, a U.S. corporation, served a Notice of Intent to Submit a Claim to Arbitration under Chapter 11 of NAFTA, for losses allegedly caused by a Quebec ban on the sale and certain uses of lawn pesticides containing the active ingredient 2,4-D. The tribunal issued a consent award as the parties to the dispute reached a settlement.

          • Bill

            None would be successful in the NZ legal system. But then, they make decisions with no regard for the NZ legal system nor any other legal system, nor any national nor international legal precedents.

          • Macro

            Aren’t we fortunate that Chinese firms are not as litigious as US corporates!
            You do understand the actual nature of an ISDS dispute? It’s not the same as a normal court. The “judges” are 3 appointed corporate lawyers who will go back to being corporate lawyers once they have tried the claim. There is no appeal. It is in essence little more than a kangaroo court – but far more vicious.

          • Stuart Munro

            If that were true, why bother with ISDS at all? Strike it out and you’d immediately halve public resistance.

            “Helen Clark’s China FTA agreement which has the same provision”

            Oh really? Disputes to be tried by US lawyers in neither China nor NZ? I don’t think that’s likely to be true.

            • Paul

              He would benefit from listening to Lori Wallach’s speech in Auckland.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              From Chapmann Tripp regarding the CFTA (pdf):

              with the NZ–China FTA, for the first time: (a) New Zealand investors have an enforceable international law
              right to arbitrate investment disputes against a foreign government; and (b) foreign investors in New Zealand have the same right against the New Zealand government.

            • pat

              if the ISDS provisions were removed the US wouldn’t ratify (they may not anyway)…and the China/NZ ISDS provisions are quite different from the TPPA….have a look at the 2 documents and compare them sometime

              The latest attempt to paint this as anti American is typically erroneous…it is anti corporation.

      • Paul 4.1.2

        How are your corporate paymasters?
        I imagine they are keeping you busy spinning for the TPPA.

        • Matthew Hooton

          Do you have anything substantial to say? You should get an early night. You have a lot of rioting to do tomorrow.

      • Duncan 4.1.3

        The good thing about nuclear weapons Hooten is we know what we are going to get and it will be quick and painless for some.
        With your secretive takeover of humanity, you will sneak in like the low life assassins you are and remove people that are not required and enslave the rest.
        Which do you prefer?

    • whateva next? 4.2

      Europe are refusing the ISDS agreements, just this makes me wonder why we have to accept it (trying to ingratiate ourselves?)

  5. Ffloyd 5

    Wouldn’t mind betting that Key is being coerced into getting this deal done at any cost by USA. There must be many people over there with intimate knowledge of his early employment history in the Financial Sector that has been kept on the down low. I reckon someone is wielding a big stick over his head. Or possibly a golf club.

    • Wayne 5.1

      This is a ridiculous conspiracy theory. You are presumably aware that TPP was being vigorously negotiated by Labour and also Helen Clarks position on TPP- too big a risk of being on the outer.
      Way too many of the opponents to TPP are taking refuge in absurd hyperbole. Next you will be saying the head of the Communist Party in Vietnam is being bribed/blackmailed by the CIA.

      • Paul 5.1.1

        ‘Conspiracy theory’.
        The classic line used to shut down debate…..

      • Paul 5.1.2

        Please advise which of these experts’ opinions is hyperbole, Wayne.

        Expert Paper #1: Treaty Making, Parliamentary Democracy, Regulatory Sovereignty & The Rule of Law
        Prof. Jane Kelsey, University of Auckland

        Expert Paper #2: Chapter 9 on Investment
        Amokura Kawharu, University of Auckland

        Expert Paper #3: Māori Rights, Te Tiriti O Waitangi and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
        Dr. Carwyn Jones, Assoc Prof. Claire Charters, Andrew Erueti, Prof. Jane Kelsey, University of Auckland

        Expert Paper #4: The Environment Under TPPA Governance
        Simon Terry, Executive Director of The Sustainability Council

        Expert Paper #5: The Economics of the TPPA
        Barry Coates, Rod Oram, Dr Geoff Bertram and Professor Tim Hazledine, (21 January 2016)


        • Matthew Hooton

          All of them. It wouldn’t matter what was in the TPP, they would all adamantly oppose it because they are against the globalisation of capital. The exception is Oram who would have supported an identical deal it completed under a Labour government.

          • Paul

            Ah yes, Hooton is more expert than experts.
            The conceit knows no bounds.

          • vto

            “All of them. It wouldn’t matter what was in the TPP, they would all adamantly oppose it because they are against the globalisation of capital. The exception is Oram who would have supported an identical deal it completed under a Labour government.”

            Really Mr Hooton, I think you are damaging what some good cred you have by posting this nonsense.

            You are falling into the schoolboy bully trap, just like Key Joyce and Groser…

            grow up fulla, you’re in the public eye

          • Doogs

            Globalisation of capital is exposing all players to the bear pit of cut-throat finance. Everyone, lions and lambs are thrown together, and guess who wins? You call that fair? You call that reasonable? You call that good for the less powerful? Yeah, right! That’s the (your) problem Matthew. It’s the rite of (un)natural selection, and all the minnows get eaten by the sharks.

            What’s it like to be a minnow now?

      • Paul 5.1.3

        Some more reading for you

        Tim Hazledine: Making world safe for big business

        Bryan Gould: True origins of TPP lie in protecting profits

      • Stuart Munro 5.1.4

        Clark for all her faults was infinitely more trustworthy than you Gnats.

      • Anne 5.1.5

        Next you will be saying the head of the Communist Party in Vietnam is being bribed/blackmailed by the CIA.

        Nah, you’re way out of date. That was 40 years ago. 😈

        • vto

          ha ha, that’s right.

          and all US government and ngo agencies stopped doing those sorts of things then……. doesn’t happen today…….. nup nope

          fucking ha

          wake up everybody

      • Incognito 5.1.6

        Labour and Helen Clark lost the elections in 2008 and as it so happens this is the same year that the US joined the P4. After this 19 formal negotiation rounds were held and numerous formal and other meetings and that’s just the stuff that we do know about.

        So, your comment that ”TPP was being vigorously negotiated by Labour” is quite disingenuous.

        You are in no position to accuse others of “ridiculous conspiracy theory” or “absurd hyperbole” and your comment about the CIA and Viet Nam is off the planet.

      • pat 5.1.7

        “You are presumably aware that TPP was being vigorously negotiated by Labour ”

        and you are aware that is a red herring as the P4 only became the TPPA in 2008 when the US joined, the year National took office…..a comparison of the P4 discussions with the eventual TPPA would be a very interesting exercise.

    • Michael Vinsen 5.2


      [lprent: An idiot troll attempts to help out Hooten, but just astroturfs his second to last comment. ]

    • Duncan 5.3

      All of the people signing have a gun at their head.
      Which is exactly the reason we should say bugger off.
      And it’s the reason South Korea and Taiwan are now desperate to join.
      Anyone that thinks US congress will not ratify this doesn’t really understand what is going on.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    The TPPA hasn’t been negotiated in the interest of working families and the New Zealand economy.

    The TPPA, like many other agreements and legislation over the last 30+ years and probably longer, is based upon the idea that what’s good for business is good for the people and so it protects businesses and their profits at the expense of the people in terms of their ability to govern themselves and the benefits that accrue to them.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Someone tell Shearer, Goff, et al.

    • Paul 7.1

      They aren’t listening.

    • sabine 7.2

      are they making the decisions?


      than really who cares what they say?

      You do? oh, ok, then.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        Not sure why you think the globalist neolib faction of the Labour caucus should be ignored. Time has amply demonstrated the amount of trouble they have caused for the country and the party.

  8. Michael Vinsen 8


    [lprent: An idiot troll parrots half-baked ideas. ]

    • Incognito 8.2

      You have just made a mockery of NZ citizenship.

      Should we give voting rights to ”foreign Governments or Companies” as well?

      I believe that for all intents and purposes NZ sovereignty rests with the citizens of NZ, not with the Queen, the GG or with the Government or Cabinet. If this is not (really) the case it certainly ought to be so.

      • Paul 8.2.1

        We seem to have a few people who care little for our democracy and independence.
        Still, a few dollars from a corporate might buy them a new flat screen TV.

  9. Chooky 9

    International order by the Human Rights Council and professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy – say DON’T SIGN TPPA!


    (copied over from Open Mike)

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