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

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences.

Such is the power of the economic orthodoxy that when opposition parties arise – say, in the shape of the Greens – their “credibility” is measured by the extent to which they give the appearance of learning and abiding by the ruling consensus.

The tension between the desire for change – and the inability of the current political framework to deliver it – creates openings for populists of all stripes. It is what has made the emergence of Internet Mana so interesting. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Electorate Deals

For all the talk yesterday from Prime Minister John Key about National being transparent about its electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu, that transparency is entirely front-loaded. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Oil Drilling Face-Off With Labour

The key policy points in the Green Party’s plan to protect our beaches from oil spills are to:
1. Prohibit deep sea oil drilling; 2. Implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping; 3. Build Maritime New Zealand’s oil spill response capability; and 4. Introduce a stronger legal framework so that when accidents do happen, the New Zealand taxpayer does not have to pay for the clean-up. More>>

ALSO:


Nick Smith v Fish & Game:

Minister Told Of FBI Investigation, Says INZ: Coleman Must Quit Or Be Sacked Over Dotcom Case - Harré

Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. More>>

ALSO:

Valedictory Season: Maori Party Founders Say Goodbye

Two major Maori MPs gave there farewell speeches to Parliament Thursday outlining their history, experiences, triumphs and regrets. More>>

ALSO:

Resignation Not Accepted: Transport Minister Breaches Aviation Security Rules

"Running late for a plane at Christchurch Airport, I without thought breached airport and airline security rules by entering the gate lounge through a door usually used for exit only..." More>>

ALSO:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news