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

 


TPPA deal should not be possible without US “Fast Track”

22 February 2014

For immediate release

Rationally, a TPPA deal should not be possible without US “Fast Track”

There is strong disagreement between the twelve parties negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement about whether a deal can be struck without the US President having fast-track authority, otherwise known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), according to Professor Jane Kelsey, who is in Singapore during this week’s meeting of TPPA ministers.

‘No Fast Track means the Congress can pick the deal apart, keeping the bits favourable to US interests, rejecting concessions they don't like, and demanding that TPPA countries give more’, she explained.

‘There is such disagreement among ministers that many journalists here are asking how ministers could contemplate making decisions this week, let alone starting trade-offs’.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman himself was quoted in the Washington Post saying ‘You can’t negotiate (trade deals) with our partners and you can’t implement (them) here in the United States if you don’t have TPA.’

Malaysia’s trade minister said in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday that a deal without fast-track was unthinkable. Ambassadors to the US from Japan and Vietnam said the same in Washington.

There is no prospect of fast-track this year, if at all. A bill was introduced in January, but has remained stalled. Senate Majority LeaderHarry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are both opposed to advancing it through Congress. Reid decides what legislation gets debated in the Senate, when. Pelosi is crucial to support in the House.

Vice President Joe Biden told House Democrats in a closed-door retreat that he understood why they would not grant Obama fast-track for deals with Asia and Europe.

Rank and file Democrats are concerned about a backlash over fast-track and the TPPA at the elections for the House of Representatives in November. Recent polling shows 62% of voters oppose fast track, with 43% strongly opposed; other surveys show 87% of Republicans opposed to fast-track.

‘The idea that the other 11 governments might strike a deal with the US in such circumstances is bizarre’, Kelsey said.

Several weeks ago New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key conceded that Obama might not get fast track or even be able to get a final deal through Congress, but nevertheless urged an early conclusion to the deal.

‘Making decisions that assume the US can deliver without fast-track smacks of desperation to strike a deal, irrespective of the content. There is too much at stake for Key and Groser to be so cavalier. New Zealand deserves a responsible government to be truly responsible’, Kelsey said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

The Kids: OECD Report Shows Huge Impact Of Poverty On Education

A new report from the OECD has again highlighted the negative effects of poverty, showing that disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific: NZ Pledges $500,000 To Help Address Zika

“With the Zika virus now confirmed in a number of Pacific countries, New Zealand is committed to helping limit the impact and spread of the virus in the region,” says Mr McCully. “New Zealand will provide $250,000 as a contribution to the WHO to implement the Pacific Zika Action Plan, and a further $250,000 to enable countries in the region to respond rapidly if required." More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Police Commissioner 'Doesn’t Get Force Needs'

The Police Commissioner has let down the public and his own force by insisting the police have what they need despite it taking a year to solve a burglary and overwhelming number of officers saying they are under-resourced, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Pressure To Expand Our Role In Iraq

Foreign news services are being more forthcoming about what the “next 12 months” will entail – essentially, the defence ministers will be under US pressure to increase their “training” role preparatory to an assault on the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news