Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Atlanta TPP talks head into the night

Atlanta TPP talks head into the night

By Pattrick Smellie

Oct. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Intensive negotiations are going on into the late evening in Atlanta, Georgia, as trade ministers from the 12 nations seek to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade and investment pact, seven years after talks first began.

A press conference, originally scheduled for 9am NZT was rescheduled twice, despite running two hour countdown clocks, before the Office of the US Trade Representative placed a notice on its livestream site that the media call was "delayed pending further notice" and encouraging visitors to "check back regularly".

New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser's office said the minister was still negotiating and that circumstances remained fluid.

Such reports as are emerging suggest trade negotiators could be preparing for an "all-nighter", a common feature of multi-country negotiations, where a combination of desire for a result and exhaustion push a final deal over the line. The meeting is now running into its fifth day, having originally been scheduled for two.

Auckland University academic and campaigner against TPP, Jane Kelsey, who is monitoring progress and redistributing coverage, sent comments attributed to a "Mexican minister", saying around 8pm Atlanta time (1pm NZT) that he believed a deal could be reached within the next 12 hours.

"The ministers that decided to stay will be here until we're finished, either tonight, midnight, or early morning,” he said. “So whatever it takes, we'll be here for the deal.”

A Canadian Press report, filed within the last hour, quotes Australia's trade minister Andrew Robb as saying a major dispute between Australia and the US over the treatment of so-called biologic drug patents had pushed other outstanding issues, including the dairy market access issue that is critical for New Zealand, on to the backburner and they were only now being addressed.

Robb said the two had hammered out a late-night deal that sat between the US preference for an eight-year patent and Australia's for five years' patent protection for the new generation drugs used to treat terminal diseases, including cancers. That compromise had sparked a range of new skirmishes with two or three other countries, displeased with the outcome.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Oil Exploration: Chevron, Equinor Depart NZ

Chevron and Norwegian oil giant Equinor have opted to abandon their joint exploration efforts off the east coast of the North Island... Chevron said the decision not to proceed with the next five-year stage of their work programmes was based on the firms’ broader portfolio considerations and not “policy or regulatory concerns.” More>>


Reference Group Proposal: Motorists, MTI Support Ban On Less Safe Car Imports

A proposal to ban some used car models from being imported into New Zealand is being welcomed by the Motor Industry Association, which says Japan's scraps are being sent here for waste disposal. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Asking The Banks To Be Nicer To Farmers

Few would begrudge the idea that banks should be made to act more humanely – given the obscene profits that the Aussie banks are extracting annually from New Zealand, they can surely afford to cut some slack. More>>


Wider Net Ban, Other Threats: Plan To Expand Protection For Maui And Hector’s Dolphins

The Government is taking action to expand and strengthen the protection for Māui and Hector’s dolphins with an updated plan to deal with threats to these native marine mammals. More>>