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

 

Another Month, Another Leak – Wikileaks Posts TPPA Text

16 January 2014

For immediate release

Another Month, Another Leak – Wikileaks Posts TPPA Environment Text

‘The governments negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement need to wave a white flag and agree to release the whole draft text’, said University of Auckland Professor Jane Kelsey as another leaked chapter was posted on Wikileaks.

There are two new leaked documents. One is a consolidated or chairs’ text of the environment chapter. The cover page says ministers asked the Canadian chair of the environment working group to prepare the text. It is dated 24 November 2013, the last day of the Salt Lake City round that preceded the December meeting of TPPA ministers in Singapore.

The second document is the Canadian chairs’ report that sums up the positions of the other countries, including New Zealand, on the proposed new text and shows what countries disagree with which provisions.

The environment chapter addresses a wide range of issues from overfishing, shark-finning and protecting endangered species to recognising indigenous rights over traditional knowledge and genetic resources.

Professor Kelsey describes the text as ‘weak and unenforceable, hardly the 21st century standard-setter the cheerleaders have been claiming for the TPPA. Most of the provisions are aspirational and it has no teeth to enforce what limited obligations there are’.

‘This confirms our expectations that the “gold standard” rules are only for the corporations, not to protect people and the planet.’

The leak also provides insights into how ministers are trying to break through the deadlock in key chapters, of which environment is one.

Professor Kelsey observes that ‘asking one country to prepare a new text “on their own responsibility” to present to the rest is a controversial strategy used at the World Trade Organisation to isolate countries that are holding outlier positions, even ones that are critically important for them’.

‘Ironically, the US is the sole standout on a number of issues, notably its demand that countries found to be breaching the environment chapter should face trade sanctions.’

The leaked text falls far short of the standards set in a May 2007 deal between President George W Bush and the Democrat-controlled Congress, which the US has required in all subsequent free trade pacts.

‘This poses a major problem for President Obama’, Kelsey said. ‘Last week the administration tabled a Bill in Congress seeking fast track negotiating authority for the TPPA and other agreements. It is already struggling for support. This environment chapter will strengthen opposition from many Democrats and force Obama to rely even more for support from hostile Republicans.’

In an overview analysis of the text Professor Kelsey observes that New Zealand opposes enforceable rules. New Zealand has not achieved effective disciplines on fisheries subsidiaries that are seen to contribute to overcapacity and overfishing. It also does not support proposals from Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei that would give indigenous peoples stronger rights over traditional knowledge and genetic resources – in line with the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal’s WAI 262 report on traditional knowledge.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog