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

 

Thailand’s quest to join the TPPA will strengthen opposition

Thailand’s quest to join the TPPA will strengthen opposition


The Thai government’s announcement that it wishes to join the Trans-Pacific partnership negotiations during a visit by President Obama came out of the blue, according to University of Auckland Professor Jane Kelsey who monitors the negotiations.


“Not that Thailand will join the negotiations any time soon. The existing (now 11) countries will each make demands and will seek a high price for simply getting to the table. If it follows the process for Canada and Mexico, Thailand will be in the extraordinary position of having to accept any existing agreed text, sight unseen”, she said.


Professor Kelsey observed that there is little commercial benefit for New Zealand from Thailand’s participation as there is already a bilateral free trade agreement between the two countries, as well as the Australia New Zealand ASEAN FTA.


The US will be the principal ‘demandeur’, with a long list of highly sensitive demands that will massively hike the price of medicines, create rights for big box retailers like Walmart at the expense of locals markets, and changes to land ownership laws.


“Thailand has been down this track before” according to Professor Kelsey. “Opposition to fraught negotiations for the Thailand US FTA was part of the backdrop to the coup that ousted Prime Minister Thaksin in 2006.”


Changes to the Constitution in 2007 were designed to make it much more difficult for a Thai government to enter such an agreement.1


Thailand’s Human Rights Commission produced a stinging report in 2006 that likened the potential impact of the FTA to “a tsunami that crashes to the shore without warning when one is not prepared to deal”.


“Critics of this agreement will welcome Thailand’s participation, as it will make an already complex deal even more difficult to conclude and bring Thailand’s well-informed analysts, politicians and NGOs into the multi-country campaign to stop the TPPA”.


Contact: Jane Kelsey 021 765 055

1. Section 190 of the Constitution requires the National Assembly to approve any treaty that has an immense effect on the economic or social security of the country or results in the binding of trade. Before the conclusion of such a treaty, the Council of Ministers must provide information on it to the public, conduct public consultation and state information to the National Assembly, and the Council must submit negotiation framework to the National Assembly for approval.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory. Oversight at any level of performance is not New Zealand’s strong suit – from our one-chamber Parliament on downwards...

The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

 

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election