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

 


PM’s Claim Of $3b Benefits From TPPA Without Evidence

CTU Media Release

5 December 2012

PM’s Claim Of $3b Benefits From TPPA Completely Without Evidence

A claim by the Prime Minister yesterday that “a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement could boost New Zealand's economy by more than $3 billion a year” is completely without any evidence says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg.

“It should be an embarrassment to the Minister of Trade, Tim Groser, who is on record as saying he was a “deep sceptic” as to such attempts to quantify the benefits of agreements. He noted that his Australian counterpart, Dr Craig Emerson, who has a PhD in economics from the ANU, was equally sceptical.”

“The only modelling of a possible Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is one by the Hawaii based East-West Centre in October 2011. Its econometric model – of the type Mr Groser and Dr Emerson were deeply sceptical about – calculated that the trade benefits would be only US$300m (about NZ$375m) a year unless Japan and Korea joined. The largest calculated benefit would be if there was a full agreement covering the whole of the Pacific region including China and ASEAN, and even then the benefits were only US$1.7b (about NZ$2.1b). Negotiators are far from reaching even a limited agreement, let alone the whole Pacific region”, said Rosenberg. “The current proposals include ones that China for example would never join because it attacks their state owned companies and has intellectual property provisions it would never agree to.”

“But even those figures, which fall far short of the PM’s claim, are misleading on their own because they only look at goods and services trade.”

“For example, they do not include the costs of the extreme intellectual property claims the US is making. If Pharmac, which estimates it saved the country $937m in 2010 alone (and rising) was hamstrung by the big pharmaceutical companies as the US wants, and lost even half of these gains, the net benefits from the current grouping would be negative. Just one successful claim against the government by an overseas investor under the investment dispute procedure the government appears to be happy to accept could cost tens or hundreds of millions more.”

“If corporations are given the right in other proposals in the TPPA to influence our laws and regulations so that they are light-handed or “business-friendly”, we could find ourselves with further rounds of hugely expensive regulatory failure. Consider the leaky building disaster which is the result of “light-handed” regulation in the building industry and estimated to have cost the country between $11b and $33b – a similar magnitude to the Christchurch earthquake – and the crash of the weakly regulated finance company sector, which is estimated to cost the taxpayer a net $1b, and investors much more.”

Rosenberg says “in addition, even the goods and services calculations depend on assumptions that are open to debate – such as that the US will open its agricultural markets to New Zealand dairy and meat imports. Many observers, including supporters of the TPPA, doubt this will happen. Calculations on services are fraught with problems. It is interesting though, that the modelling shows a fall in New Zealand mining exports – one of the centre pieces of the Government’s economic policies – and further falls in textiles, clothing and footwear exports.”

An international group of trade unionists will be in Auckland from today until Sunday to observe the negotiations – to the extent they can be observed behind closed doors. They share deep concerns at the effects of proposals in the negotiations on decent jobs, labour rights, the impact of greatly extended investor powers, the effect on medicine prices, the loss of local preferences under government procurement, and many other aspects. They will be speaking to negotiators and taking part in activities being organised by allies in other organisations.

--

Notes:
The Prime Minister’s statement is reported at
TPP worth $3 billion a year: Key
http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/15536524/tpp-worth-3-billion-a-year-key/
http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=158143&cat=978&fm=newsmain%2Cnarts
The Trade Minister’s speech referred to is
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: State of Play, 15 June 2011
http://beehive.govt.nz/speech/trans-pacific-partnership-state-play

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Greens Proposal To Gradually Lift The Minimum Wage

Heading into the election home stretch, voters have a clear choice about the best way to help low and middle income New Zealanders. They can do so by gradually lifting the minimum wage (as the Greens propose) or by a small tax cut, as the government seems about to announce.

The minimum wage boost – by 75 cents an hour to $15 in December, and then by gradual annual increments to $18 an hour by 2017 – that the Greens are talking about is just one part of a packet of employment measures that would include scrapping youth rates and the 90 day trial period, introducing a redundancy package of four weeks, offsetting any abatement effect of the policy package for those receiving Working For Families, and finally… ditching the exception made by the government (during the Hobbit negotiations) for workers in the screen industry, which denies them normal workplace safeguards and entitlements. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

2014 General Election: Voting Period Begins

The first votes for the 2014 general election will be cast today, Wednesday 3 September, as advance voting begins ahead of election day on Saturday 20 September. More>>

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis. More>>

ALSO:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The 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. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news