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

 


TPPA: Academic Slams Report PM Used To Claim $3.5bn Gains

4 March 2013

For immediate release

Academic Slams Report PM Used To Claim $3.5 Billion Gains to NZ from TPPA

Last December Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey challenged the Prime Minister’s claim that the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPPA) could boost New Zealand’s economy by $3.5 billion.

‘Governments often wheel out fantastic projections of an El Dorado to rescue agreements that are withering under intense scrutiny. But $3.5 billion was almost double the figures in previous studies on the TPPA, which themselves used implausible assumptions on the upside and ignored all the potential costs’, according to Professor Kelsey.

‘As the next round of negotiations begin in Singapore today, it is time to debunk his claims’.

An Official Information Act request revealed the Prime Minister was citing an unpublished econometric study in November 2012 by the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics that updated earlier versions published by the East West Centre.

Professor Kelsey says ‘the assumptions that underpin the report’s computerised modelling belong on an alien planet’.

It assumes that all eleven countries – including the US – will agree to comprehensive liberalisation, including zero tariffs and all ‘non tariff barriers’ will be removed. Workers who lose their jobs will simply move on to new ones. The entire deal will be tied up by 2013 and approved by national parliaments and implemented immediately – and by Korea and Japan from 2015.

The report ignores any real world downsides – losing part or all of the $5 billion savings from Pharmac over 12 years, the stifling of innovation through extreme US monopoly rights over intellectual property, the economic and social costs of light-handed regulation, legal fees and compensation awards from investment arbitration suits brought by US firms, to name a few.

A review of the report for US consumer group Public Citizen drew similar conclusions: ‘The Institute continues a stalwart tradition of using assumptions-laden computer models to project starry-eyed gains from nearly every NAFTA-style deal it sees. The frequency of those rose-colored projections is matched by the frequency with which they’ve been wrong.’

The best-case scenario, even if all this came true, would benefit every US citizen by 27 cents a day, minus the associated costs. It predicts that ‘a study that uses a computerized model and palette of assumptions to paint a pretty TPP picture will not cause people to forget NAFTA’s nearly two decades of declining wages, rising inequality, and eroding health and environmental standards. Even if the Institute’s picture were more realist than romantic, such costs simply aren’t worth an extra quarter a day.’

Professor Kelsey warned that the stakes in this negotiation are too high to let such hyperbolic projections go unchallenged.

‘If the government is genuinely convinced of the merits of the TPPA, the negotiations have now reached a stage where it can seek and provide independent, credible and comprehensive cost benefit analyses based on various scenarios and open them for public scrutiny and debate.’

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Auckland Relocation Grants: 12 Grants Paid So Far

Since the policy took effect one month ago, 12 applicants have received the non-recoverable grant, supporting 32 people. $54,508 has been paid out, covering things like moving costs, bond, rent in advance and letting fees. More>>

ALSO:

Vaccine Funding Change: HPV Vaccines For All Children

PHARMAC has today announced changes to funded vaccines, which will benefit an extra 100,000 people... The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available for all children and adults up to the age of 26 years, and boys will now be included in the HPV school vaccination programme. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Opinion Polls For Key And Trump Defy Gravity

What is going on? Donald Trump got confirmed as the Republican presidential candidate at a bizarrely chaotic political convention… and promptly received an upwards bump in the polls to where he’s now rating ahead of Hillary Clinton, for only the second time this year. More>>

Sugar: Auckland Leisure Centres Axe Unhealthy Drinks

Auckland Council is to stop selling drinks that are sweetened by sugar from vending machines at its leisure centres in a bid to try to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Todd McClay’s Faulty Memory

Time and again, whenever an issue arises the initial response by government is to deny or diminish the problem – nothing to worry about here, everything’s OK, move on. Then, hang on. In line with the usual pattern, as embarrassing details emerged into daylight, the story changed. More>>

ALSO:

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news