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An Official Information Act request revealed the Prime Minister was citing an unpublished econometric study in November 2012 by the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics that updated earlier versions published by the East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

Gordon Campbell: On The Mt Albert Aftermath

Personality politics – Jacinda is great! Jacinda is not so great! – have dominated the coverage of the Labour Party’s fortunes this week...

Still, this is a relatively new and welcome problem for the centre-left. Labour has seemed so bereft of crossover talent for so long that it seems almost embarrassed by this latest development. More>>

 

Conservation: Central Govt Takes Over 1080 Regulation

“This new approach standardises the rules for using such poisons rather than the current system of different rules in different regions. This change will reduce costs and delays for operators, ensure consistent conditions throughout the country, reduce mistakes from misunderstanding rule differences and allow best practice approaches to be used." More>>

ALSO:

Election Entertainments: ACT Has Prison Plan, Greens Have Water Bill

Green Party launches Member’s Bill to protect our freshwater The Green Party has today launched a member’s bill that will keep water from underground sources, called aquifers, safe from pollution and contamination. More>>

ALSO:

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news