Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


US Abandons Fig-Leaf of Transparency on TPPA

Media Release: Jane Kelsey
Wednesday 4 April 2012

US Abandons Fig-Leaf of Transparency & Cancels TPPA Stakeholder Programme

“As anticipated, now that the US has taken control of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations it has removed the only pretense of transparency – the day-long ‘stakeholder’ programme where critics can present information and analysis directly to negotiators”, says Professor Jane Kelsey, from the Law School at the University of Auckland.

Professor Kelsey has spoken at these events in Auckland, Santiago, Ho Chi Minh City, Melbourne and Chicago on issues of investment, financial services, development issues, state-owned enterprises, and human rights impact assessments.

The US has announced that stakeholders can register and be allocated a ‘table’, but not make any presentations, at the next round of negotiations in Dallas from 8 to 18 May.

The stakeholder presentations have offered detailed expert analyses of the legal issues and implications of TPPA proposals that many countries’ negotiators do not have time, resources or knowledge to develop themselves.

They also provide important support for the positions that countries are taking in the negotiations, especially against the very aggressive demands from the US.

Even though it is voluntary for the negotiators to attend, they often ask for follow-up discussions on the issues and how they might protect their interests – without, of course, the advisers having access to the draft text.

“Clearly, even this limited engagement is being too effective for the US’ liking”, said Professor Kelsey. “We know the US has been annoyed that other countries’ negotiators want to attend these events and has actively dissuaded some from doing so. Now the future rounds of negotiations are being held in the US, it has been able to cancel the programme altogether.”

The corporate lobby has the money to buy time with delegations, if they are not given formal access during the negotiations. Critics of the US position on intellectual property and investment have previously hosted breakfasts and lunches, but this is expensive and the last time it was tried in the US the hotel cancelled the booking, presumably at the US government’s behest.

Professor Kelsey has asked the lead New Zealand negotiator, David Walker, whether New Zealand has agreed or objected to this latest step to intensify the already obsessive secrecy surrounding the negotiations, or will be prepared to raise the issue, but has yet to hear.

“Without this fig-leaf of transparency and our ability to access and assist the negotiators, the US will have even greater ability to bully them into a deal that can’t be unwound once it sees the light of day.”

“It is time to insist that New Zealand’s government pulls the plug on this travesty that has no place in a 21st century democracy”, urged Professor Kelsey.

Ends.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ.

Cunliffe marshalled his points better, kept Key off balance and – more often than not – was in control of the general tenor of the contest. Labour supporters would have been heartened, and given some belated reassurance that maybe the change of leadership last year had been the right decision. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour On Climate Change: Focus On The Now For The Future

A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission and implement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Housing Assistance Plan

So, as many as 90,000 people could derive some benefit from National’s housing assistance plans for low and middle-income earners... Yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant, and they will be skewed towards those at the top end of the income group that’s supposedly the target. More>>

ALSO:

Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>

ALSO:

From The Scoop Video Archive: PM Says SIS "Told Me" About OIA Release

In a press conference immediately following an controversial OIA release of notes on an SIS briefing to then Labour leader Phil Goff, Key said "at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ...". Since the release of Nicky Hager's 'Dirty Politics' Key has denied being personally informed and said references by officials to 'the PM' being told briefed referred to his office. He now says the same about his own statement. More>>

ALSO:

  • Scoop Video in the news - New questions over Key claims | NZ Herald News - Stuff.co.nz
  • Earlier - Felix Marwick: Laying out facts over SIS documents - Newstalk ZB
  • Labour - Director’s letter contradicts Key’s claims
  • ACT - The Letter - 26 days to go
  • TV3 Video - Housing issue nudges Dirty Politics aside - David Cunliffe: Key's SIS explanation 'defies belief' - SIS leak came from Key's Office - Goff - Key 'categorically denies' Slater OIA discussion - Video: Key faces more Dirty Politics questions

  • TVNZ - Winston Peters: ‘Dirty Politics' is a new low
  • The Nation - Debate Between Grant Robertson And Russel Norman
  • NZ First - “The Words Mean What I Say They Mean”
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news