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

 


Singapore ministerial shows NZ likely to pay price for TPPA

20 May 2014

Singapore ministerial shows NZ likely to pay a high price for an empty TPPA deal

‘At the end of a two-day ministerial meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in Singapore it seems clearer than ever that New Zealand stands to get almost nothing if they do reach a deal, and we will pay a very high price in return’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey, who has been observing the meeting.

Today’s statement from the TPPA ministers had the familiar recycled rhetoric of “meaningful progress”, “narrowing remaining differences”, and “building momentum”.

‘There are signs of a possible breakthrough on the sticking point of agriculture. But that would fall far below Trade Minister Groser’s “gold standard” of comprehensive liberalisation for agriculture’, Kelsey said.

Back in 2010, Wikileaks reported the warning from former chief negotiator Mark Sinclair that New Zealand needed to ‘manage expectations’ of an ‘El Dorado’ from the TPPA. Trade Minister Groser did the opposite, insisting that New Zealand required nothing less than comprehensive liberalisation - the rhetoric that APEC leaders used in November 2011.

‘Those chickens have come home to roost and Tim Groser has begun to shift the ground’, Kelsey observed.

According to Inside US Trade the Minister said New Zealand might accept alternatives to full tariff elimination if countries could show another way to achieve a ‘very high quality result’. Until then New Zealand would stick to its position, which means making no formal concessions on areas like medicine patents, copyright, or state-owned enterprises. It is unclear what kind of concessions Groser has in mind.

‘Holding to that line will be untenable if they are to close the TPPA deal. New Zealand is a minion with nothing to trade off; why would the big players give us anything?’, Kelsey asked.

During today’s press conference, some ministers hailed a new pragmatism and flexibility that would help clear the way forward.

‘Pragmatism is code for accepting that some countries with particular sensitivities cannot be pushed beyond their political comfort zone’, Kelsey said. ‘For New Zealand, that almost certainly means no significant new market access for dairy to Japan, the US or Canada.’

Professor Kelsey says that prospect has been on the cards for some time, based on what is known of the negotiations between Australia and Japan, and then US and Japan. Dairy appears to have achieved least concessions of any product from Japan, except for sugar.

‘In return for what looks like an empty deal, New Zealand will still be expected to make major concessions on the rules for Pharmac, Internet freedom, regulating foreign investment and much more’.

The TPPA ministers announced a ‘pathway for intensified engagement’ in market access and rules, such as intellectual property and state-owned enterprises, includes another ‘chief negotiators’ meeting in early July. By not calling it ‘a round’ they can avoid the need for any formal stakeholder presence.

‘The question now is where the New Zealand government will draw its new red line, and what price it will make the country pay for a deal that delivers few, if any, tangible returns’.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

#Kexit: Prime Minister John Key Announces Resignation

Prime Minister John Key has announced that he’s resigning as Prime Minister in seven days’ time. He made the unexpected announcement at a 12.45 press conference at Parliament, called with less than an hour’s notice.

“It has been an enormous privilege to be Prime Minister of New Zealand, and these last eight years have been an incredible experience. Throughout these years I have given everything I could to this job that I cherish, and this country that I love...“ More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

 

Q+A: Labour's Michael Wood Wins Mt Roskill

Labour’s Michael Wood, who last night won a 6,000 vote majority in the Mt Roskill by-election, says the reason for the win was simple, clear messaging... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Anne Tolley’s Callous Folly

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

ALSO:

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news