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 DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>

 
 

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election