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

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news