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 Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Tribunal: Report On The MV Rena

In its interim report, the Waitangi Tribunal has found that the Crown’s conduct in response to the grounding of the MV Rena on Otaiti (Astrolabe) reef breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza: Wellington Protest For Palestine Calls For End To Bombing

Around 300 people gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Wellington on Friday to protest Israel’s occupation of Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Failure To Prosecute The GCSB

So one hand of the state – the Independent Police Conduct Authority – has now washed the hands of its brother agencies, and declared that all hands are clean. Case closed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news