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

 


NZ should follow Malaysia lead in releasing TPPA text

If Malaysia can release TPPA text before it’s signed and say no deal without “fast track”, why can't NZ?

‘For years Malaysia was treated as suffering a severe democratic deficit compared to countries like New Zealand. Today it puts us and other so-called advanced democracies to shame with its relative openness on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement’, according to University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, who was in Kuala Lumpur yesterday briefing media and others on the TPPA.

At a press conference yesterday, Malaysia’s Minister for International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said: ‘The draft text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will be released to enable detailed scrutiny and public debate before any final agreement is signed.’ That would be unprecedented for Malaysia.

Mustapa’s words are identical to an open letter from legislators from seven countries, including Malaysia and New Zealand, which was released last week.

By contrast, New Zealand’s Tim Groser peremptorily dismissed the call from parliamentarians, including the Greens, New Zealand First, Maori and Mana parties, and the government prevented Labour from presenting a similar motion in the House.

Mustapa made his statement at a press conference that followed a media briefing by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). In another poignant contrast, MITI’s 20-slide powerpoint presentation set out the scope of the agreement, issues that have not yet been agreed, Malaysia’s expected gains and the principle areas of concern.

Malaysia’s long list of concerns include intellectual property, tobacco policy, investor state dispute settlement, state-owned enterprises, government procurement preferences for bumiputra, and enforceability of labour and environment chapters.

‘MITI’s presentation ended with another challenge that should ring in Tim Groser’s ears’, Kelsey said.

Malaysia said the conclusion of negotiations ‘will hinge on the US obtaining fast track’,
That echoes what Japan and Vietnam’s ambassadors to the US reportedly told a Washington forum yesterday. Fast track is also expected to be an issue for the new government that takes power in Chile next week.

‘Contrast that to our Prime Minister’s speech several weeks ago that Obama might not get fast track, or be able to get the TPPA through the Congress - but New Zealand needs to help get the deal done as soon as possible.’

Despite Mustapa’s suggestion there is still a long way to go, the feeling in Singapore is that that the Ministerial meeting in the next few days will push to conclude almost all the agreement, aside from the handful of red lines that countries have staked out. The focus will then turn to the crucial questions of market access on agriculture, automobiles and textiles.

Professor Kelsey speculated that the remaining issues are more likely to become bargaining chips in the final trade-offs than stumbling blocks to a final deal, unless there is such domestic a backlash that government’s decide not the sign.

‘Malaysia seems to be foreshadowing that outcome is possible if they cannot protect important social and economic development policies. After all, they walked away from a Malaysia US FTA in 2009. Would New Zealand be prepared to listen to its people and do the same?’

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Kim Regime

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US had a very clear objective and eventually offered a quid pro quo of the removal of some of its own missiles from Turkey. This time, there’s no clarity about what the US is seeking, or offering.

It hasn’t helped that the US and the global media consistently agree on calling North Korea and its leadership “crazy” and “irrational” and urging it to “come to its senses”. When you treat your opponent as being beyond reason, it gets hard to comprehend what their strategy is, let alone work out the terms of a viable compromise. More>>

 

Recovery: Economic Impact Of Kaikōura Quake Revealed

The report details the impact on small businesses and tourism caused by disruptions to transport infrastructure and the economic impacts... The impact on New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the first 18 months following the earthquake has been estimated at $450-$500 million. More>>

ALSO:

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Need For Action On Seclusion And Restraint

Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford says that while the report makes for sobering reading, the focus should now be on how the recommendations can be used to reduce the occurrence of seclusion and restraint in New Zealand and, in circumstances where it is necessary, to improve practices. More>>

ALSO:

CORRECTIONS (March 2017):

SCHOOL SECLUSION ROOMS (2016):

$11bn Capital Spend, New Debt Target: Steven Joyce On Budget Priorities

First, delivering better public services for a growing country – providing all New Zealanders with the opportunity to lead successful independent lives... And finally, we remain committed to reducing the tax burden and in particular the impact of marginal tax rates on lower and middle income earners, when we have the room to do so. More>>

ALSO:

JustSpeak Report: Bail Changes To Blame For New Billion Dollar Prison

In 2013 criminal justice spending was falling and the Government was mulling over what to spend the money on. 3 years later there are 10,000 people in prison and a new billion dollar prison is announced. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news