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

 


Terms of Japan's entry to TPPA talks bad news for NZ

15 March 2013

For immediate release

Terms of Japan's entry to TPPA talks bad news for NZ, ‘surrender of sovereignty’ for Japan

‘Japan’s Prime Minister Abe will announce this afternoon that Japan will seek to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPPA) negotiations. He already has US endorsement to do so’, says Professor Jane Kelsey who has just returned from observing the Singapore round of the talks.

Several days ago Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party cleared the way for the announcement. However, the Party’s resolution also called for Japan to maintain tariffs on key farm products, especially rice, wheat, beef, dairy products and sugar, and defend the public health insurance system.

Yesterday, current and recent members of the Diet (Parliament) who have been campaigning against the agreement for several years released an open letter to Abe that said Japan would have to accept any text that was agreed by the time they joined the negotiations, sight unseen.

The letter objected that the denial of 'any right or opportunity to set the terms or to alter terms that undermine the national interests of Japan’ was ‘a fundamental surrender of sovereignty’.

They also revealed that the US Trade Representative had told other chief negotiators they needed to complete their bilateral pre-entry discussions with Japan and approve its entry by July. [An English translation of the complete text is below]

Once a 90-day notification period to the US Congress expired Japan would be able to join the talks in September, one month before the political leaders of the existing eleven countries hope to sign the completed deal.

‘If this is true, the US has effected a double play on New Zealand’, said Professor Kelsey.

Trade Minister Groser said New Zealand would welcome Japan’s participation ‘once we have established procedures for their entry that are acceptable to their governments and to ours’. That was widely taken to mean Japan’s agreement to comprehensive agricultural liberalisation in line with the statement of the TPPA leaders in Honolulu in November 2011.

Australia has been trying unsuccessfully to achieve that goal in a free trade negotiation with Japan since 2007.

New Zealand would have just over three months to get Japan to agree or give way to a timeframe that appears to have been imposed unilaterally by the US.

'Even if Japan agrees in principle to consider opening dairy market access, that is just the first step in the process', according to Professor Kelsey.

‘Assuming the US continues to delay any substantial discussion of dairy market access to its own markets until September, the US and Japan could then join forces in demanding flexibility and stymie the one gain that New Zealand government has said is a bottom line and without which it will walk away from the TPPA’.

--

Dear PM Abe,

It has been widely reported that this week you will announce a formal decision to join negotiations to establish a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.

We recognized the terms under which other countries, namely Mexico and Canada, have joined TPP negotiations were grossly unfair. Effectively, terms were dictated to these nations, which were told either they could comply or not join the talks.

In particular, these entrants were required to agree that they would not seek to reopen any matters that had already been agreed to during the previous three years of negotiations. Further, they were forbidden from offering new proposals with respect to the numerous subjects that had already been decided.

In sum, they were told that if they wanted to join TPP talks, they would be required to simply agree to all of the expansive terms negotiated by the other countries in any of the agreement’s 29 chapters of binding rules.

All of Japan’s current and future domestic laws, regulations and administrative procedures would be required to conform with these rules established by other countries. In addition to trade in goods, including agriculture, these rules would severely limit Japan’s regulation of a wide range of sensitive matters such as foreign investors, postal, banking, insurance, energy, telecommunications, medicine approvals and prices, food and product safety, and more.

In addition, the newly entering parties were denied access to the confidential negotiating texts that they were being required to accept. That means that they were required to agree to accept texts that they could not review in advance to assess the implications for their countries. Instead, they were required to rely solely on whatever informal assurances they had received from other TPP parties with respect to what the texts would require.

We understand that at the March Singapore Round of TPP negotiations, U.S. trade officials informed other countries’ TPP negotiators of a process by which Japan would be allowed to join the agreement. U.S. officials have indicated that Japan has agreed to the same disrespectful, unfair process imposed on Mexico and Canada for accession to the TPP. The U.S. instructed the other TPP countries to complete their bilateral consultations with Japan by July.

Japan would be allowed to join an agreement that has been negotiated by other countries, without any right or opportunity to set the terms or to alter terms that undermine the national interests of Japan. This is a fundamental surrender of sovereignty.

If Japan is about to announce its desire to enter these negotiations, we are seeking your assurance that Japan will not be required to comply with the unacceptable process imposed on Canada and Mexico. We ask you state publicly the process that Japan will follow and the terms that have been agreed with the other TPP negotiating parties and to table a written assurance to this effect in the Diet.

March 13, 2013

National Coalition for Commenting on TPP


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>c

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news