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

 


TPPA: New Huffington Post leaks expose major divisions

9 December 2013

New Huffington Post leaks expose major divisions, US heavying to get TPPA deal

Two internal documents from a country inside the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations have been leaked to Huffington Post and published this morning under the headline ‘Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Political Powers In Secret Trade Deal’.

The leak comes during the third day of the TPPA ministerial meeting in Singapore, where the 12 countries said they wanted to close the deal.

Both documents – a chart outlining the positions of each of the twelve countries on most of the major issues being discussed in Singapore, and a brutally frank account of the substantive developments around the Salt Lake City round late last month – expose deep political and substantive tensions inside the talks.

A scan of the chart of country positions shows the US out on a limb on many crucial issues, from rules on medicines, protection for of to cut hot money flows to prevent or address a financial crises and a raft of new rights for foreign investors.

‘These polarised positions make US strong-armed tactics even more worrying’, said Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey who is monitoring the negotiations in Singapore.

‘Stories of bullying that I reported from Salt Lake City are born out by this insider account. The country’s predicted that US pressure would “increase with every passing day”.’

‘Mediocre’ progress in Salt Lake City was blamed on the lack of any ‘perceivable substantive movement’ by the US, which created an ‘uncertain scenario’ for Singapore. ‘even leaving aside the more complex issues (IP, SOEs and Environment), demonstrates a situation that makes it very difficult to think of a complete closure in December’.

The US was holding back on making offers on market access for agriculture until the Singapore ministerial, despite a series of ‘milestones’ for tabling offers that were to be reached before Singapore. New Zealand, along with Canada, Chile, Australia and Peru were reported to be frustrated with the US approach and a continued lack of transparency

The US had also been dominating the agendas of the chiefs and the sector groups, determining what versions of documents are discussed and marginalising dissenters. For example, it had produced a ‘non-paper’ on intellectual property in Salt Lake City, which it insisted form the basis for discussions on controversial medicines issues.

The chart and narrative documents lay out the positions of each of the twelve countries on almost all the outstanding issues up for decision in Singapore, including New Zealand’s.

‘Read alongside the intellectual property text that Wikileaks posted last month, these leaked documents give us a much clearer sense of what our government is doing inside the talks, even though it refuses to tell us’, Kelsey said.

‘Knowing the government’s position, and how it lines up with other countries, allows us to hold the government to account now, and if they sell out further in a final deal.’

There are some worrying positions. For example, New Zealand is not supporting other countries that want a general exception that deals with public health, environment, public morals to apply to the entire investment chapter, including the powerful rights that investors rely on to sue the government. The exception itself is weak, but governments are further disarmed in the face of foreign investors without it.

More analysis will follow once there is time to digest the documents.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

ALSO:

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news