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

 

Land Swap: Setback For Ruataniwha Scheme As Forest & Bird Wins Appeal

The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society has won an appeal against a proposed land swap by the Department of Conservation which would have allowed 22 hectares of Ruahine Forest Park be flooded as part of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme that will provide irrigation for farmers. More>>

ALSO:

Up: Official July Crime Stats Released

Official crime statistics for July 2016 show that Police recorded 11,171 more victimisations than the same period last year, which equates to a 2.3 per cent increase. More than three quarters of this increase can be attributed to burglaries. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Judith Collins Charm Offensive

Suddenly, Judith Collins is everyone’s new best friend. It isn’t an election year, but the Corrections/Police Minister is treating 2016 as an opportunity for a political makeover… Feel that the Police don’t attend burglaries often enough, or assiduously enough? She’s the peoples’ champ on that one. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news